The Weekly Gemstone

Information regarding the various IC news publications. Current IC events, story line related hooks or rumors, and random past mailing list cultural information.

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Karras
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The Weekly Gemstone

Post by Karras » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:35 am

A forum topic to house copies of Pat Feaster's Weekly Gemstone series from the old archives. It was a lifestyle gazette that went on the BDI ML, with stuff on day to day Drache with classifieds and so on. A lot of this stuff is presumably Arlok-mun's dry wit leaking into the IC world.
Last edited by Karras on Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:14 am, edited 8 times in total.

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Karras
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Number 1 - 24. VI. 470.

Post by Karras » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:06 am

HESTABBATEK THRAXRATH, or The Weekly Gemstone

"For the Moral and Cultural Improvement of Our City" -- Drache, Transdariania. Number 1 24. VI. 470.

GENTLE READER, It may well be asked whether 'tis advisable to issue forth yet another periodical upon the streets of Drache, which are in truth already well-nigh choked with ephemeral literature. And yet the perusal of this stuff must strike anyone with a sense of dissatisfaction and unease. For 'tis all designed, one assumes, to rile up the People and addle their minds with controversy and political infighting and (most recently) a most vicious breed of Gossip, as though because of the invention of acid-etched printing we should be made soon enough to read that Father Kylus has been spied out a-whoring, or that 'tis morally right for commonfolk to pillage the wealth of the City Councillors' homes. And so the potential of this discovery to enlighten and to uplift is woefully cast aside in the interest of titillation and scandal. This it is that has inspired the present first number of the HESTABBATEK THRAXRATH. Oureditorial eye will seek out that which is fine and good and informative: writings which are truly valuable to the City's dwellers, stories and poetry of things beautiful and uplifting; in short, that which the upright and Menxvan-fearing Drachean SHOULD read. The HESTABBATEK THRAXRATH may be proudly displayed upon one's hall table without fear of reproach, as the badge of the well-read and morally impeccable household. We shall endeavor to employ the finest authors and essayists of the City; we shall not dispatch forth Gnolls to harry the populace and espy its doings through keyholes, judging that what is done behind closed doors is done there for a Reason. Whether we have succeeded in our mission must be assessed by yourself, Gentle Reader, and whether our task is deemed a worthy one must be decided by your generous subscription moneys, to be delivered to the offices of the Crowned Swan Press.

Yours faithfully,
EMERETH QUARSPIN, editor.


CHARACTER BY THE MONTH
If a girl be born during the month of Morning Star, she will be amiable and practical, and likely to marry rich. If in Sun's Dawn, she will be passably handsome, but with a sulky temper. If in First Seed, she will be impetuous, will marry early and be frivolous. If in Rain's Hand, she will be handsome and likely to be happy. If in Second Seed, she will be inconstant, not intelligent, but likely to be good-looking. If in Mid Year, she will be a frivolous chatter-box, somewhat given to quareling. If in Sun's Height, she will be a humane and affectionate wife and tender mother. If in Last Seed, she will be a prudent housewife, given to melancholy, but good-tempered. If in Hearthfire, she will be well-proportioned, fond of novelty, and extravagant. If in Frost Fall, she will be liberal, kind, of a mild disposition. If in Sun's Dusk, she will be pretty, coquettish, and likely to be unhappy. If in Evening Star, she will be discreet, affable, and much liked.

A REMARKABLE JUDGMENT
Some time ago in Hornath-ul-Marfed, a wealthy man died, leaving his fortune to his four sons, who determined that they would divide everything equally between them. The father had owned a large warehouse full of valuable imports, and the four sons vowed to continue the business, but to presume that each owned one quarter thereof. In this warehouse there lived a cat, and the brothers decided that each owned one quarter of the cat; one the front right, one the front left, one the back right, one the back left. It happened that the cat once broke its hind left leg. The brothers assembled and decided that the burden of caring for the leg fell to the brother who owned that quarter of the cat. He therefore tended diligently to it, and fixed the bone, and wrapped it in a cloth. Some days later the cat straying too close to a lamp, the bandage caught fire, and the cat running to and fro caught the whole of the warehouse afire and burned it to the ground. The three brothers took the fourth brother to court, claiming that since it was his bandage that had caught fire, he should reimburse them for the loss of the warehouse. The judge, however, determined that since it was the cat's three healthy legs that had enabled it to spread the fire throughout the building, the three brothers should rather pay the fourth brother for his losses in the fire.

Doctor Quolf on "RONDISSIAN SORE THROAT"
Rondissian sore throat generally makes its appearance at the close of sultry summers; when the system has been much weakened by protracted exposure to intense heat; and when people have been for some time exposed to breathing the putrid atmosphere arising from stagnant waters and decaying vegetation. In this infectious or catching disease, the breathing becomes hurried, and the breath hot and offensive. The swallowing becomes more and more difficult; the skin burning and disagreeably hot, without the least moisture; and the pulse very quick and irregular; the mouth and throat assume a fiery red color, and the palate of the throat much swollen. Blotches of a dark red color appear on the face about the third or fourth day, which gradually increase in size and soon spread over the whole body. On examining the throat at this point you will mark small brown spots within the throat, which soon become deep ulcers; a brownish fur covers the tongue; the lips have small watery pimples on them, which soon burst and prduce sores, the matter of which is of an acrid nature. If the illness is not immediately relieved, it soon terminates fatally, from the fifth to the seventh day. As its course advances, the following symptoms indicate the likelihood of impending death: purging a black matter, of a very offensive and fetid smell; the hands and feet becoming cold; the eruptions becoming of a dark livid color, or suddenly disappearing; the inside of the mouth and throat assuming a dark hue; the pulse becoming small, quick, and fluttering; the breathing much hurried, with an almost constant sighing; and a cold and clammy sweat. When the Rondissian sore throat is about terminating favorably, the skin becomes gradually soft and moist, denoting the abatement of fever; the eruptions of the skin become of a reddish color over the whole body; the breathing becomes more free and natural; the eyes assume a natural and lively appearance; the sloughs, or parts which separate from the ulcers, fall off easily, and leave the sores of a clean and reddish color: when these symptoms occur, as I said before, the disease is about terminating in the recovery of the patient. In this illness, bleeding and purging are always fatal in their consequences, and you are scrupulously to avoid both. Rather, the one sure cure of this dangerous affliction is generous and frequent doses of DOCTOR QUOLF'S BLACKBERRY ELIXIR OF VIGOR, obtainable of all good apothecaries.

THE TENTRIPIN, by Tespin Melxgord Nulx
O lads and maidens who are in
The raptured throes of youthful love
Think often of the Tentripin--
And they're whom She is thinking of!
They'd fain evade her watchful eye
And hasten to some shady place
Where no spectator should espy
Their spooning, to bring them disgrace.
But o! the consequences that
Might well result should make them sob:
The Tentripin, old, gray, and fat
Could swiftly lose her well-paid job!
She who, by seeking when 'tis late
To keep them safely out of sin,
Prevents the maid from evil fate:
To become, herself, a Tentripin.

ABOUT THE HOG
Of all animals that go upon four legs, does not the HOG appear the most rough and unpolished? His voraciousness depends, it seems, on the continual necessity which he has to fill the vast capaciousness of his stomach. It is the roughness of the hair, the hardness of the skin, and the thickness of the fat, which render these animals so insensible to blows. Mice have been known to lodge in their backs, and eat their fat and their skin, without their seeming sensible of it. Their other senses are good; and the huntsmen know that wild boars both see, hear, and smell at a great distance; since, in order to surprise them, they wait in silence during the night, and place themselves under the wind, to prevent the boars perceiving their smell, of which they are sensible at a great distance, and which always immediately makes them change their road. Their imperfection in the sense of touch is still more augmented by an illness known as the Boar's Blight, and which renders them almost absolutely insensible. This disorder proceeds in general from the coarseness of their food; for the wild boar, which usually lives upon corn, fruits, acorns, and roots, is not subject to this affliction, any more than the young pig whilst it sucks. This is only to be prevented by keeping the domestic hog in a clean stable, and giving him plenty of wholesome food; by this means his flesh will become excellent to the taste, and the lard firm and brittle, especially if he be kept for a fortnight or three weeks before he is killed, in a clean stable, without litter, giving him no other food than dry corn; for this purpose we should choose a swine of about a year old, full of flesh and fat. Voracious and uncleanly though he is, the hog has some good qualities. If one of his own kind utters a cry of distress, every hog within hearing instantly hurries to his assistance. When teased by a dog, they have been known to hem him round, and kill him. If a male and female are brought up together when young, and the latter loses her companion, she begins immediately to decline, and probably dies of a broken heart. Nor is the hog wholly useless while living. In the Sresar Vale, he is frequently yoked to the plough in conjunction with an ass, and he performs his task in a workmanlike manner. In some parts of Aslar and Elluria, swine are used to discover truffles, which grow a few inches under the surface of the soil. A cord is tied round the animal's hind leg, he is conveyed to the field, and wherever he stops to root with his nose, there the truffle is invariably found. A recent Ellurian writer on the noble science of gastronomy ludicrously denominates the hog "the Kel Ellure of the truffle." That hogs are not destitute of sagacity, is proven by the long succession of learned pigs which, for so many years, have been trained to astonish the multitude at fairs, and other places, where numbers of persons are congregated. The wild boar is hunted by dogs, or else taken by surprise in the night by the light of the moons. As he runs but lowly, leaves a trong odor behind him, defends himself against the dogs, and wounds them dangerously, so he should not be hunted by dogs trained for the stag and the goat; for this hunting spoils their scent, and teaches them to go slowly. The oldest only should be attacked, and these are easily known by their traces; a young wild boar, of three years old, is difficult to take, because he runs a great way without stopping; instead of which, a wild boar that is older does not run far, suffers himself to be closely hunted, and has no great fear of the dogs. In the day, he usually hides himself in the thickest and most unfrequented part of the wood; and in the evening, and at night, he goes out to seek for food. In summer, when the corn is ripe, it is easy to surprise him; but mostly so among oats, where he frequents every night. In an old wild boar the head only is good to eat; instead of which, the flesh of the young wild boar is extremely delicate. No person that has lived in the country ever so little, is ignorant of the profits arising from the hog; his flesh sells for more than that of the ox; the lard is valuable; the blood, the bowels, the viscera, the feet, and the tongue, when properly prepared, are all fit to eat. The dung of the hog is much colder than that of other animals, and should not be used for any but hot and dry lands. The skin has its use, for saddles are made of it; and brooms and brushes are made of the hair. The flesh of this animal takes salt better than any other, and will keep longer salted. The fecundity of the hog is very great; instances are known of individuals producing three hundred and twenty-five young in twenty litters, and two hundred and five in twelve litters. The East Arangothian variety of the hog sometimes weighs eighteen hundred skanatel. It was such a beast that was responible for the death of Sir Aritz Dollitrog, once Grand Master of the Order of the Beady Eye, when he was gone out a-hunting with Prince Dorn in the year 399.

DOCTOR QUOLF'S BLACKBERRY ELIXIR OF VIGOR! Nothing else like it!
"I am an old man afflicted with the Green Bile Disease. Doctors told me that the only possible cure was eating an apple a day--but I lost all my teeth playing professional grubball as a youth. The doctors insisted that ground-up apple mush would not have the same effect, so I was in a real quandary, being unable to chew apples. An apothecary suggested I try Doctor Quolf's Blackberry Elixir of Vigor. To my astonishment, after using the elixir for a week I sprouted a new set of teeth! The apple cure hasn't worked for me, and I still have the Green Bile Disease, but I find I have come to enjoy its symptoms anyway. Thanks, Doctor Quolf!"
-- S. N., Hornath-ul-Marfed

BUYING HAIR IN ELVENDEEP
Every autumn the hair buyers of Elvendeep start out from Elfspire to purchase the luxuriant tresses of women and girls who live in the villages along the River Malchur. In this region the inhabitants, who are of a high Elvish origin, preserve the language and many of the customs of their forebears. The women and girls wear their heavy masses of silky hair rolled in great coiffures on their heads, and are not averse to being shorn if the buyers offer a figure high enough. The women are fully aware that elven hair is a desirable commodity, and they always get a good price for their locks. The buyers are used to the business, however, and are good at driving a bargain, so there is a great deal of haggling before the purchase is finally concluded. The buyers, when commencing operations in a village, always first endeavor to put the inhabitants in a pleasant humor. They invite the villagers to come to the inn, where the former acta s hosts, and treat everybody to wine and brandy. After a day or two spent in establishing themselves as good fellows in the opinion of the townspeople, they begin work. They pick out the girls and women who have the best heads of hair, and offer them a low price for their locks. The women at once name a very exorbitant sum and then the trade is fairly begun. The women talk and argue until finally a compromise is reached, the price is agreed upon, and the village barber trims off the long, wavy locks and turns them over to the buyers. The price of a head of good hair depends upon its quality, luster, and color, and upon the age of the elf upon whom it is grown. The hair of girls between the ages of 12 and 17 is deemed most valuable. A good head of hair is worth all the way from 5 bank crowns to 20. The hair thus obtained is exported all over the world, and several reputable importers offer it for sale at the Market in Drache.

NOTICE
The Hestabbatek Thraxrath had hoped to begin serializing a story entitled "Sabrika the Fox Princess" with this week's issue. Written by the celebrated Drache author Nerboth Mirod, with whom we have an exclusive contract, "Sabrika" promises to be an intriguing and exciting tale of adventure in fifty installments. Unfortunately, Mr. Mirod has suffered a cramped wrist and has been unable to write out the first episode for inclusion this week. We are assured that he will either have recovered from this affliction by next week or he will dictate the first episode to a scribe. Readers may therefore look forward to reading the exploits of the splendid Sabrika starting with our next number, and ONLY in the Hestabbatek Thraxrath.

ASSI ATROCITIES IN THE EAST, anonymous
The little village of Adrelk, just south of Tralazir, is no more. It was located in a pleasant situation, at the top of a gentle elevation hardly steep enough to be designated a hill. Two dozen little farmsteads clustered about its long street alongside a humble Menxvanic hut ("temple" implies more than it was) and a rude alehouse known as the Fighting-Cock. I have often had cause to pass through Adrelk on private business, and have many times overnighted there, arriving near sunset. The proprietor of the Fighting-Cock was a man named Alathar whose generosity and good humor were beyond all bounds. At night I enjoyed the sounds of the farmers playing their music upon reed-pipe and bagpipe and the dancing of their daughters clad in the colorful raiments of that region. But Adrelk is, as I said, no more: one of the victims of the plague of Assi barbarians who have it seems initiated a perpetual siege of our eastern frontier. There were no armed forces stationed in such a tiny place, and the attack must have been met with virtually no resistance. Only a day or so afterwards did a party enter the village, and beheld there a terrible scene. The buildings of the place had all been set afire and reduced to nought but ashes and scorched stones. In the middle of the place all the inhabitants' bodies had been burned as well, excepting only that their heads had been chopped off, and the Assi had erected a scaffold in the middle of the village with a long horizontal beam to which the heads had been attached in a long row, either by wooden pegs or, in the case of those with hair of sufficient length, by knotting the hair around the top of the beam. No sentient being survived the attack, and so there is no knowing what atrocities the Assi perpetrated upon these poor folk before murdering them. The one Arangothian survivor was a speckled hound whom the party found sitting mournfully beneath the scaffold and howling up at its slain master's head. A member of the party sought to adopt the hound and take it away with him, but no sooner had they left the ruins of the village than the animal escaped its tether and ran back to the scaffold out of loyalty to the late farmer; probably it will sit thus until it perishes of hunger and despair. Those slain ranged from the honored elderly to the bright-eyed young: all were killed indiscriminately, whether they were of an age to wield weapons or no. The Assi say that we Arangothians have no souls; but I say that it is those who could enact such outrages upon defenseless victims who are the soulless ones, and I call upon all Arangothians to avenge these brutal doings at once. We can not afford to ignore such incursions: both intellect and sentiment demand that we immediately take to arms.

DOCTOR QUOLF'S BLACKBERRY ELIXIR OF VIGOR. It works!
"I was a student at the Royal University and my friends, who thought I was too deeply buried in my books, set me up on a blind date with this gorgeous chick in the Red Lantern District. To my horror, she turned out to be a vampiress! I didn't know what to do, as I was sure that being a vampire would ruin my chances of entering the priesthood of Pallodain. So I took a stiff double-dose of Doctor Quolf's Blackberry Elixir of Vigor and it cured me of vampirism AND near-sightedness! Thanks, Doctor Quolf!"
- -- K. Q., Drache.

REAL ESTATE FOR SALE
-- Fourplex residential house in the Blkdragon District, aqueduct and sewer connections, nice mosaic floor, several fruit trees in enclosed garden, five-stall stables with room for expansion, near the Blkdragon Inn ferryport and stagecoach lines. 1850 crowns.
-- Cozy house on the Market Street, Blkdragon District, with main room and loft, spacious cellar for wine etc., place for one horse, no vermin. 400 crowns.
-- Village of Peralkerrat, one day's journey from Drache on the Darian River. 8 houses, 4 barns in village; regularly rent on 12 quobs of farmland. Owner selling because manor house burned and not salvageable; does not want to rebuild. 1700 crowns.
-- Spacious circular stone TOWER near the Iron Gate, Blkdragon District, four stories aboveground, two stories underground. Good view of the district; good wall shelving. Locked door in bottom cellar seems to lead further underground; have not investigated due to lack of key. A stone's throw from the Iron Gate stagecoach stop. Very sturdy. Could be subdivided into apartments. 2400 crowns (a bargain).
-- Contact GANKA & LAKROD, agents, on the Market Square in Drache.

SHIPPING
-- Departing for Ethcabar and Selrose Bay on 25. VI. 470, the Laughing Mermaid, Capt. Bralth Nelxik. Inquiries welcome for freight or passage.
-- Departing for SECCA and points west, 27. VI. 470, the Brine Goose, Capt. Sarnem Lurinthun. Still have ample hold space for wares. Insured.
-- Departing for Mysthaven at dawn on 27. VI. 470, the Black Swan, Capt. Emereth Quossatod; from thence to El-Ekki. Inquire at docks.
-- Departing for Sivriana on 28. VI. 470, the Elfin Lass, Capt. Kenglith "the Herring" Mitrod.

SOUP FOR ENLIGHTENMENT
Several wives of prominent Drache merchants were having dinner at the Royal Griffon. When the waiter asked one as to her preference for Ruthmarnak or Aslarian mutton soup, the lady spoke up excitedly. "Oh, let's all be sure to have the Aslarian soup," she suggested. "It may help us to understand the situation in the East a little better."
Last edited by Karras on Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Karras
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Number 2 - 1. VII. 470.

Post by Karras » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:38 am

Drache, Transdariania. Number 2. 1. VII. 470.

GENTLE READER, it has been most heartening to learn how well our first number was received; and indeed, even if many copies thereof were used to wrap fish at market (a thing whereof we have no evidence, save that it has been alleged by sundry folk no doubt in the employ of the Rumormill or the Sly Hacker), nevertheless sufficient interest was shown that it is a certainty the "Gemstone" will remain a bright star in the constellation of the Drache press. Those who say that the public, like flies, will flock only towards that which is rotten and stinking, are misled: the approval with which the "Gemstone" has been welcomed shows that the average person loves that which is beautiful and uplifting, enlightening rather than merely sensational. In this spirit I am proud to present a second number, and humbly anticipate that its success might equal that of its predecessor of last week.

Yours in Menxvan's light,
EMERETH QUARSPIN, Editor.


ENTERTAINMENTS, by K. the Critic
-- This week a new play opened at the Boar's Head Theater in Drache entitled "Innocence Triumphant." Its triumph, if any, is succeeding in taking in the audience's quaspins on the strength of so meagre a plot. We can find no flaw with its moral, and indeed many a tentripin might be very relieved were her charge to emulate the heroine as a role model. Nevertheless, the story itself is not particularly exciting, and if a family were simply to go home and sit around the fire of an evening it might provide for a livelier tale to report than this one. Nevertheless, the public will no doubt not pass up any chance to see the celebrated actress Sarpi Lakrat strutting her stuff on the stage, and her titillating performance may lead many spectators to excuse the lack of a memorable storyline.
-- At the Lockrey Circus we are treated this week to the exploits of Alathrel Aborod, who swallows fire, swords, birds, and other sundry items quite amazing in nature. Those who have not seen Mr. Aborod's performances before will not want to miss this opportunity. Music by Lol Roflmao and other artists and the usual juggling, acrobatics, and bear-dancing follow in the second half.
-- A three-headed goat is on display live this week at Hurn's Windmill. Everyone will want to see this remarkable creature.

THE ASLARIAN MONARCHY
By the time this issue of the Hestabbatek Thraxrath reaches the streets, the King of Aslar for the upcoming year may already have been selected according to the ancient and sanguinary custom of that race in the ring of Sacred Stones near Selrose Bay. Since time immemorial, the king or queen of Aslar has been chosen by the drawing of lots each year during the summer; and on the same occasion the previous year's king or queen has been executed by beheading. This is done, so they say, in order that the Muns -- divine beings who govern the world from above -- might have a constant hand in the affairs of the kingdom, and that no mortal monarch should have too much power for too long. In previous years there have been many kings, both remarkable and unremarkable: + In 467, a native Aslarian was chosen but died a short while into his term, and the throne was vacant for some months. + In 468, a kender named Dizzy Longtongue was chosen who reigned under the name King TASHLI and sought in the last days of his life, but in vain, to prevent war between Aslar and Elluria. His legacy is thus that of the would-be peacemaker, which we must respect, despite the frivolsome defects of character associated with the race of kenders generally, to which the late king was no exception. + In 469, the chosen candidate was the current reigning king of Aslar -- SAIMAIT, an Assi of the tribe of the Venthine, of the bloodline of Ath of the Green Star, brother of Meriatantlei, Queen of the Sovereign Nation of the Tribes of the Assi. King Saimait (whose name is pronounced "Samath") accordingly managed to influence foreign policy; his Assi kinsmen assisted the Aslarian war effort against Elluria, which soon collapsed, and since that time there appears to have been some Aslarian complicity in the Assi raids upon our own Arangothian eastern frontier. + There has been much speculation that the probable choice of someone other than an Assi in this lottery might well have a beneficial effect in checking the Assi onslaught in the East. Indeed, it may well be that Aslarian resources have enabled it to succeed as much as it has thus far. However, it is our understanding that the King of Aslar does not have absolute powers, so possibly King Saimait's role in affairs has been exaggerated. Only time will tell. The king shares his authority with three viziers who are ranked from one to three and advance as senior viziers die or resign.

The present Grand Vizier of Aslar is Sha`ishua Sarrathit, about whom but little is known. The second vizier is Tidhril Rispithing, a former lady in waiting who surprisingly coordinated much of the late Aslarian war effort. The third vizier is Gangisirip Samith, who at one time had served as grand vizier but resigned. He was recalled to the vizierate during the war when then-second-vizier Hingisadha Hushlicuatadhas had resigned for personal reasons. All are believed to be capable and upright individuals of honest character, and there has been some rumor that the viziers have sought diligently to disentangle Aslar from any Assi alliance its king may have effected. If this is true, then they are surely friends of Arangoth. + We cannot but condemn the Aslarians for regicide, something which among our own nation is a thing from which all decent folk recoil in horror. And yet, given the atrocities the Assi have perpetrated recently upon our own defenseless frontier-dwellers, we do not feel many Arangothians will shed tears when the axe falls upon the neck of Saimait the Assi.

Doctor Quolf on "THE RED ITCH"
This filthy disease is infectious, or in other words catching; and is frequently produced by want of cleanliness: it is confined to the skin, and first shows itself between the fingers in small watery pimples, gradually extending to the wrists, thighs, and waist. There is a constant desire to scratch, which is much increased after you become warm in bed. Cleanliness, and early attention to this dirty disorder, will prevent its being communicated to a whole family: children are apt to take it from their playmates and to communicate it to those with whom they sleep. Travelers are apt to take it from sleeping in beds that have been previously occupied by persons who have it: therefore a good caution in traveling is to have the sheets and pillows changed. Frequent instances occur in traveling where persons of much respectability have taken the Red Itch, and been much mortified by it, from want of this precaution. As a remedy, take sixty drops of oil of Sevule: mix it well with one liquid measure of hog's lard, or fresh butter without salt. After it is well prepared by good rubbing, anoint the parts affected until cured; this is an innocent and certain remedy for the Red Itch. Or you may make an ointment of a spoonful of fine ground brimstone and a spoonful of lard or butter without salt. This ointment must be rubbed on the parts affected, three or four nights on going to bed. Bathing in snakeflower tea will frequently effect a cure as well, though 'tis not as certain as the aforementioned ointments. Snakeflower grows in wet ditches, mill ponds, and sides of rivers; and flowers in Sun's Height and Last Seed; but this remedy must be used with caution on children.

THE MINSTREL, by Tespin Melxgord Nulx
The minstrel in the merry inn
Has mastered so the lute he strums
That through all of the clatt'ring din
The sound of his sweet music comes
And causes weary feet to dance
And spirits to forget their woes
And maidens fair to shyly glance
At the musician's manly pose.
And yet his playing, done for pay,
Cannot in beauty quite compare
With songs sprung from hearts bright and gay
And freely flung into the air.

YOUR PREDESTINED FATE
-- Rint (12/30 - 1/26) Take your footwear into consideration when you leave the house this week. The right shoes could play well with your confidence and give you the air of superiority that makes you successful. Beware of those who offer you free oats. In matters of love, Squirrel-Moose and Toad are favored strongly.
-- Yak-Toed Sloth (1/27 - 2/28) Only careful planning and consideration will allow matters of money to run smoothly. Keep needy hands out of your pockets and play it conservative. Free-flowing Batazalas should be avoided in matters of love.
-- Nine-Tailed Lion (2/29 - 4/1) Forget it. Don't bother even to leave your house this month, as financial ruin will most certainly clip your wings. Beware of crafty Porpoises, as they will most certainly break your heart.
-- Howling Banshee (4/2 - 4/29) Your oratorical skills are the key to making new business relationships. Now is the time to write a speech or make a verbal contract. Dire Sheep will prove to be a key player in your love life.
-- Stomped Rat's-First-Born (4/30 - 5/31) Your resilience will allow you to survive any financial turbulance. Things are not as bad as they seem; invest your last gold piece and it will reproduce tenfold. Nine-tailed Lions make a low-maintenance match for you.
-- Batazala (6/1 - 6/30) Your flexibility allows you to advance in your chosen occupation. Let your master and/or underlings know that you are open to suggestions and criticism. Porpoise and Toad make a good match for you.
-- Porpoise (7/1 - 7/27) Money will be handed to you today, you have only to look for it. Try not to swim past opportunity. Batazala and Toad are competing for your heart.
-- Dire Sheep (7/28 - 8/25) Start a new business venture with a Porpoise and a Yak-toed sloth, and the three of you will be unstoppable. Watch out for vampires; your blood is especially tasty to them this month. Squirrel-Moose figures prominently in your love life.
-- Squirrel-Moose (8/26 - 9/23) Open your eyes! The love of a lifetime is outside and waiting for you! Public places, if you can endure them, are the best places for you to find new interests in love and money. Howling Banshee knows what s/he is talking about.
-- Flying Squid (9/24 - 10/3) Life is not as absurd as you think it is. A crazy scheme is just what you need to bring in the gold. Don't trust your instincts. They're wrong. A Howling Banshee will make you laugh today.
-- Lemming (10/4 - 11/11) The road less travelled is the road to ruin this week. Stick with the plan and don't get creative. Yak-toed Sloths are promising companions, though it will take you awhile to warm up to each other.
-- Toad (11/12 - 12/29) Rely on your intellect to get you out of trouble this time. Chances are, you have already devised a plan. Set it into action and reap the benefits! As long as you think things through, everything will come out fine. Batazala and Rint complement you nicely.

ERRATUM: We are informed by the author of this piece that the text above should read "clip your tails" rather than "clip your wings." However, we find that the text makes no sense either way.

ABOUT THE GAZELLE
Of all the animals in the world, the gazelle has the most beautiful eye, extremely brilliant, and yet so meek, that poets have often compared the eyes of their mistresses to those of this animal. The epithet of gazelle-eyed is considered the highest compliment that a lover can pay. The gazelle is, for the most part, more delicately and finely limbed than even the roebuck; its hair is as short, but finer and more glossy. The hind legs of some of the species are longer than the fore ones, as in the hare, which gives it greater security in ascending and descending steep places. In swiftness it equals, if not surpasses, the roe, running and springing with vast bounds, and leaping with surprising elasticity. It frequently stops for a moment in the midst of its course to gaze at its pursuers, and then resumes its flight. Most of these animals are brown on the back and white under the belly, with a black stripe separating these colors. The tail varies in length like that of the Leturian, but in all is covered with rather long hair; and their ears are beautiful, well placed, and terminate in a point. They all have cloven hoofs, like the sheep; and hollow horns, curiously curved, annulated with prominent rings or spirals, and not deciduous. They bound with such swiftness, and are generally so very shy, that dogs or men vainly attempt to pursue them. With ease and safety they traverse those precipices which, to all others who go upon four feet, are quite impracticable; nor can some of them be overtaken by any animals but those of the winged kind. Accordingly, in those countries where the fleetest gazelles are found, they are pursued by falcons. Such an expedition is conducted with profound silence; the dogs are taught to keep behind, while the men, on the fleetest coursers, look round for the game. Whenever they chance to spy a gazelle at the proper distance, they point it out to the falcon, and encourage the bird to pursue it. With the swiftness of an arrow the falcon flies to the animal, which, conscious of its danger, endeavors--but too late--to escape. The falcon soon coming up with its prey, fixes its talons, one into the animal's cheek and the other in its throat, and deeply wounds it. The gazelle tries to flee, but is generally too wounded to run far. The falcon clings with the utmost perseverance, nor ever leaves its prey till it falls; upon which the hunters from behind approaching take up both, and reward the falcon with the blood of the spoil. They also teach young falcons, by applying them to the dead animal's throat, and accustoming them betimes to fix upon that particular part; for if it should happen that the falcon fixed upon any other part of the gazelle, either its back or its haunches, the animal would easily escape among the mountains, and the hunter would lose his falcon. But upon the whole, these animals are very difficult to be taken even with such ruses; for, as they are continually subject to alarms from carnivorous beasts, or from man, they keep chiefly in the most solitary and inaccessible plcaes, and find their only protection from the dangerousness of the spot whither they retreat.

NOTICE
The Hestabbatek Thraxrath had hoped to begin serializing a story entitled "Sabrika the Fox Princess" with this week's issue. Written by the celebrated Drache author Nerboth Mirod, with whom we have an exclusive contract, "Sabrika" promises to be an intriguing and exciting tale of adventure in fifty installments. Mr. Mirod had promised that, despite continued suffering from a cramped wrist, he would be certain to dictate a first installment of the story to a scribe for inclusion in this week's issue. However, we regret to announce that Mr. Mirod appears temporarily to have lost his voice. He is expected to regain his ability to speak within the week, however, so our readers can count on finding the stunning Sabrika's exploits recounted here beginning with our next regular weekly number.

ON COMMON COURTESY
Suppose a tespin of the City sends out 20 invitations for a social gathering. She may invite six couples; then, four unattended gentlemen and four unattended ladies are needed to make her party complete. Every hostess knows bachelors, maids, or widows. Some of the invitations will be answered with true courtesy by swift return messenger; others will remain unanswered for days. The lady's table will accommodate but 20 guests; she likes to have her full complement; but she cannot ask more than that number, in view of the possibility of some one declining, for, should all accept, the limit of her facilities would be reached. Now, it is no uncommon thing for the four odd gentlemen to answer, as everyone should do, by return messenger, and for the four odd ladies to withhold their reply for a week. What is the position of the hostess? She is reluctant to invite other gentlemen for fear the original quartette will arrive. If by chance they ultimately decline, the attendance is much curtailed, and she may not be able to get four equally suitable males, to say nothing of the fact that a delayed invitation is not regarded as complimentary. Many a hostess has been nearly distracted by tardiness of replies to her invitations.

DOCTOR QUOLF'S BLACKBERRY ELIXIR OF VIGOR. Try it and Believe!
Never harmful, often helpful! It's an UNDISPUTED FACT that children who have grown up with a daily spoonful of Dr. Quolf's Elixir are perkier and less susceptible to emotional disorders than comparable children who have been locked in cages in underground cellars.

USED CARTS
-- 462 ANOGATH Hardly-been-used utility pushcart with bread shelf and dual-fastened axle. Good for expanding most businesses or for use around the house. 15 crowns.
-- 464 VANSIPPA DELUXE oxcart including yoke. Complete with steel-trimmed wheels. Some wood damage. 5 crowns down, 5 crowns a month.
-- 464 VANSIPPA DELUXE oxcart, customized. Fitted to hold four beer drums. Previous owner kept her in great shape, a must see. 33 crowns takes it home.
-- 466 VALKESPROLTA MODEL 4, one-horse cart. No accessories, in need of minor repairs. 20 crowns.
-- 469 KOL FIREBALL pushcart, painted. Complete with red flames on the sides. Great for impressing the ladies. 17 crowns.
-- 469 ANOGATH pushcart, nearly flawless condition. Come on in and make an offer.
-- 470 VANSIPPA DELUXE four-person coach. Can be fitted for two to four horses or one ox. Green velvet interior with custom paint. 60 crowns, or strike a deal.
-- 470 BRANTH'S SPECIAL pushcart. Some rotting. At 5 crowns, it's a bargain!

Consult Serpessa, the Hestabbatek Thraxrath secretary at the Crowned Swan Press, for sellers' contact information. Have a free mug of steaming Rondissian dukak on us while you wait to seal the deal! A good chance to register your subscription to the Hestabbatek Thraxrath, too.

REAL ESTATE FOR SALE
-- Fourplex residential house in the Blkdragon District, aqueduct and sewer connections, nice mosaic floor, several fruit trees in enclosed garden, five-stall stables with room for expansion, near the Blkdragon Inn ferryport and stagecoach lines. 1850 crowns.
-- Cozy house on the Market Street, Blkdragon District, with main room and loft, spacious cellar for wine etc., place for one horse, no vermin. 400 crowns.
-- Village of Peralkerrat, one day's journey from Drache on the Darian River. 8 houses, 4 barns in village; regularly rent on 12 quobs of farmland. Owner selling because manor house burned and not salvageable; does not want to rebuild. 1700 crowns.
-- Spacious circular stone TOWER near the Iron Gate -- SOLD!

Contact GANKA & LAKROD, agents, on the Market Square in Drache.

SHIPPING
-- Departing for Ethcabar and Selrose Bay on 2. VII. 470, the Slithering Serpent, Capt. Oryan Quar. Inquiries welcome for freight or passage.
+ Departing for Mysthaven on 4. VII. 470, the Wave Runner, captain
to be announced; from thence to Sevule and points southeast.
+ Departing for Sivriana on 5. VII. 470, the Elfin Lass, Capt. Kenglith
"the Herring" Mitrod. Returning 9. VII. 470.

DOCTOR QUOLF'S BLACKBERRY ELIXIR OF VIGOR. It's Tasty Too!
Star hinterplodder DILMINTH'S SON of Gessihorna says: "Doctor Quolf's Elixir is the best preparation for a game I ever heard of. Before going out to the circle I always take a swig, splash a bit under each armpit, and rinse out my ears with it. The best thing about it is, unlike many medicines, Doctor Quolf's Elixir TASTES GREAT. I'd drink it even if it had no medicinal properties whatsoever -- but, of course, it's got scads! They say I'm a hero to a lot of Arangothian youth out there -- well, Dr. Quolf's MY hero."

TO THE EDITOR
Dear Sir. Your first number includes an item entitled "Assi Atrocities in the East," in which your anonymous contributor claims a number of severed heads were discovered intact following an Assi raid on the village of Adrelk. It is well-known that the Assi believe that any part of an enemy's body left intact puts them at risk, and so they would have most certainly burned the heads along with the rest of the villagers' bodies. The Assi are a formidable foe, and spreading incorrect information about them, as for example allegations regarding their fondness for sheep, is a disservice to the motherland. Yours most sincerely, N. K., student, Royal Arangothian University.

--

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Re: The Weekly Gemstone

Post by Suzthulhu » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:49 am

OH! that reminds me! Do you happen to have anything that actually lists the characteristics of the Zodiac signs he came up with? that would be interesting to add to the wiki.
Elitist Dicks Only

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Re: The Weekly Gemstone

Post by Nymphetamine » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:12 pm

Were there more to this?

Because this is awesome (and kinda insane, but it's Pat F, so that's a given).

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Re: The Weekly Gemstone

Post by Karras » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:15 am

Suzthulhu wrote:OH! that reminds me! Do you happen to have anything that actually lists the characteristics of the Zodiac signs he came up with? that would be interesting to add to the wiki.
The cards are from the game of Tapolaster, which was a card game written about in early BDI stuffs (on the Shoonaben iirc). I'll stick it up on another forum for Shoonaben stuffs (that we can work out will go somwhere else later).

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Number 3 -- 8. VII. 470.

Post by Karras » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:03 am

HESTABBATEK THRAXRATH, or The Weekly Gemstone
"For the Moral and Cultural Improvement of Our City"

Drache, Transdariania. Number 3. 8. VII. 470.
---------------------------------

GENTLE READER, I remain awed by the enthusiasm with which this fledglingp ublication has been received, and only with effort keep from crowing its successes over those vultures of the press who have given the bird to so many worthy Drachean notables in recent months. As if yielding before the bright light of the Weekly Gemstone, it seems that Mott the Gnoll and Sly Hacker are busying themselves at mud-wrestling with a vigor certain to besmear them both with the dung they have hitherto wiped on the noses of our esteemed public figures. This proves that moral depravity will out, and that Menxvan showers lasting prosperity upon only those who uphold what is right and beautiful.

Yours in his light,
EMERETH QUARSPIN, Editor.


A LETTER FROM ASLAR
Friend Emereth, I send you this statement of what I beheld as an observer at the Lottery held here in the Kingdom of Aslar last night in the hope that you will find it worth publishing. I think it will reach you in all haste, as I have entrusted it to my most reliable pigeon; but as I am informed this is pigeon mating season it may be he will meet up with some distraction en route; and thus, if this missive arrives late, do be sure to give my pigeon a wink and a pat on the back along with the obligatory fistful of birdseed. + Unlike in years past, when the Ring of Sacred Stones resembled the jagged, rotting teeth of a decrepit, barren old hag, there had been some changes: at the grand vizier's behest, the stones had been cleaned, polished, and repointed for this most historic post-Ellurian conquest Lottery. The stones were also festooned with garlands of colorful garlands of exotic flowers which I am told were fetched hither from as far away as Leturia and Thontaran. The skulls of the last hundred monarchs of Aslar watched on from their positions atop their individual pikes arranged sequentially between the stones. The entrance to the ring lay between the oldest and newest skull, thus demarcating the end of one hundred-year cycle. In the center of the ring was a mound upon which one could see King Saimait kneeling, wearing but a loincloth, his hands bound with a ritual rope of holly leaves, flanked by the three viziers Shaishua, Tidhril, and Gangisirip. + To begin the proceedings, a trained monkey was led on a golden chain to the foot of the pike upon which rested the current oldest skull -- the Skull of the Centennial Monarch, blanched white with hoary age. A pipe or small whistle was blown, and the monkey shimmied up the pike within plain view; when it yanked the skull from its position atop the pike, the native Aslarians around us let out a tremendous shout. The monkey scrambled down the pike and deposited the skull onto a velvet pillow resting in a waiting gilded wheelbarrow. A small flaxen-haired girl dressed in a green tunic pushed the wheelbarrow once around the perimeter of the ring and then in through the entrance, which I might add had two guards stationed beside it naked except for chain-mail loincloths and horrific notched cleavers. This girl pushed the wheelbarrow up to a stubby column fixed before the ritual mound. Two other small flaxen-haired girls, wearing a red and a yellow tunic respectively, lifted the skull and held it above the stubby pillar. The girl in the blue tunic next pricked her index finger with a sewing-needle and anointed the top of the pillar with some few drops of her blood. The bound King Saimait then bellowed something I could not rightly understand, and the Skull of Accounting was placed on the pillar. Second Vizier Tidhril Rispithing then called for the Lottery to commence. + The applicants had been counted beforehand, and a corresponding number of bobbins were now deposited in the Skull. The trained monkey led each applicant up in turn to pull a bobbin from the Skull's mouth. King Saimait looked quite nervous all this while, his neck stretched out over the chopping-block; for an executioner with a large axe was waiting at his side. Most of the applicants drew black bobbins; but the chosen one drew a red bobbin; as soon as it was drawn, the axe fell and severed Saimait's head from his body. A pipe or small whistle was blown, but of a different pitch; and the monkey seized up the head and ran it back up the now-empty pike, skewering it in the spot from whence the Skull of Accounting had been snatched. + The successful applicant was an orc of Zul Kiras named Karad of whom I have but little knowledge. Nevertheless, he did give a speech, which I recount here as nearly as I can: "I have been chosen by the will of your gods; or our gods, I should say, for our destiny is now one and the same. Let there be rejoicing, and let us look forward to the coming year. Under your last king you won a great war and gained much by conquest. Now it is time to solidify our hold on what you have acquired through the glory of battle and to make these lands forever part of Aslar." + Although I left the ring of stones almost immediately after this speech I have paraphrased, I have heard reliable news that the trained monkey was later found dead in the crowd. This is taken by the Aslarians to be an ill portent, for they say that the last time the monkey died was the year in which Kel Ellure proclaimed Tollor independent of Aslar many centuries ago, perhaps the darkest year ever in Aslar's fortunes.

ENTERTAINMENTS, by K. the Critic
+ The East Arangothian Girls' Choir will perform a war benefit concert at the Podar ul Sinettatel tomorrow night.
+ This week at the Lockrey Circus the feature is a burlesque entitled "Not the Mole!" about a broadside publisher involved in illicit dealings with orcs. The scene in which an Assi mistakes the protagonist for a sheep is in itself worth the price of admission. Lol Roflmao performs musical interludes, and Galilla the Dozen-Chinned Woman makes an unexpected and amusing appearance.
+ At the Boar's Head Theatre, "Innocence Triumphant" with Sarpi Lakrat and Bralth Valkpodar enters its second week. I reported earlier that this play is somewhat wanting plotwise. Indeed, of the name "Boar's Head Theatre," I cannot vouch for it being a proper "theatre," nor does it give one's "head" much to ponder; but it certainly "boar's" the discriminating spectator, so it cannot be knocked too severely for false advertising! Audiences have dwindled to the point that the management of the Boar's Head may fear bankruptcy. We are told that out of desperation they have let an offer be known generally about the city: if they can draw an audience of 500 to a show, Miss Lakrat will perform her part in the nude. + The three-headed goat has been held over an extra week at Hurn's Windmill. Do not miss the opportunity to behold this astonishing creature with your own eyes. Mere descriptions cannot do it justice.

Doctor Quolf on "WORMS"
The worms which most commonly infest the human, elvish, or dwarvish body are the slippery longworm, the threadworm, and the dread King Tapeworm. The slippery longworm has three nipples at its head and a triangular mouth in its middle. Its length is from four to twelve thumbs long, and its thickness, when at its largest size, about that of a common goose quill. The body is furrowed on each side, and the tail somewhat blunt. This worm is quite common in children, and not unfrequently crawls out at the mouth. It is generally of a milky brownish or ash color. The threadworm has a blunt head; the tail of the male is blunt, but that of the female quite sharp and winding. It is generally from two to four thumbs long, quite small, about the size of a small thread, of a white color, and very elastic or springy. This manner of worm is generally found in the straight-gut, most commonly in children, but it is also met with in grown persons. They are frequently found in the form of a ball, so completely covered with a slimy mucus as to prevent the medicines which are usually given for worms from acting; or, in other words, causing them to be excreted. The King Tapeworm is from one to six HUNDRED thumbs in length: it is gifted with the power to contract or enlarge its diameter; that is to draw up or increase its size at pleasure. It rolls itself into a round form and falls from one side of the stomach to the other in turning, when in a recumbent or lying position. When cramped by the position of the patient, or by hard pressure over the belly, or disturbed by food which does not agree with it, by medicine, or some disease proper to it, or tormented by the approach of death, it leaves its hold, wriggles about, and falls as it were into convulsions or fits. Climate, infancy, weakened state of the bowels, and improper food, favor the production of worms. Symptoms of infestation by worms are several. The head is general affected; the face is pale, and sometimes the color of beeswax: the lower eyelid becomes a leaden color; itching is felt in the nose, occasionally inducing picking; the saliva or spittle runs down over the pillow during sleep; the breath has a remarkable bad fetor; frightful dreams; the child cries piteously in its sleep, and awakes with great terror; itching about the navel; creeping or tearing pain in the belly, or a pricking and gnawing about the stomach; constant hunger, and yet the body weakens; frequent itching of the straight-gut; frequent dry cough, with tickling in the throat, accompanied with slow fever; these symptoms, singly or together, denote the presence of worms. A great many medicines are daily given to combat worm infestation. One sure remedy is to give the patient a strong dose of Doctor Quolf's Blackberry Elixir of Vigor, and then to rub the belly with a mixture of ox gall, oil of camomile, and common soap mixed with brandy in which garlic has been dissolved. By these means worms may be easily excreted in the outhouse and the body thus ridded of their unwelcome presence. But pure air, simple digestible food, exercise, and the use of all those means by which a person may be strengthened should be attended to; otherwise, as soon as the worms are expelled, lo! they will again return like the Assi on the eastern frontier. It is also advised occasionally to administer to the child or person subject to worms a simple dose of charcoal in new milk as a preventative measure. Charcoal is known to be of great value in keeping the gut free of worms.

TO A DECEASED KITTEN, by Tespin Melxgord Nulx
O kitten, you whose tongue so rough
Has lapped sweet milk from these my palms
And who could never get enough
Of fish-heads (though they gave me qualms)
And who my ankles often butted
With that fuzzy little head
And proudly in the parlor strutted--
Woe that now you lie there dead!
A pox upon the cart that crushed you
Whilst you in the street did play:
Though its wheels have sadly hushed you,
Catch ghost-mice there, far away.

TRADITION IS QUALITY -- AND WE HAVE LOTS OF BOTH!
Gorgon's Horn Brewery takes the traditional Dwarven stout to Drache with a drink that will bristle the beard of any drinker. Powerful and robust, Gorgon's Horn stout is the premier Drachian beer, unparalleled for richness, potency and a smooth flavor, all brewed in accordance of the purity laws of King Grindar Redaxe in the three hundreth and twenty sixth year of his reign. Gorgon's Horn Stout - Brewed for real men by short men!

ABOUT THE FOX
With one exception, the structure of the eye, the organization of the fox and dog are similar. Hence the fox preys by night. He has always been famous for his cunning; he generally fixes his residence at the edge of a wood, and yet not far removed from some cottage or some hamlet. He listens to the crowing of the cock, and the cackling of other domestic fowls: even at a considerable distance he scents them, and seizes his opportunity. If he be able to get into the yard, he begins by levelling all the poultry without remorse. This done, he carries off a part of the spoil, hides it at some convenient distance, and again returns to the charge. Taking off another fowl in the same manner, he hides that also, though not in the same place; and this method he practises for several times together, till warned by the approach of day, or the noise of the family, he finally retires. The same arts are observed when he finds birds entangled in springs laid for them by the fowler; with whom the fox, taking care to be beforehand, very expertly snatches the birds out of the snare, conceals them in different places, leaves them there sometimes for two or three days, and is never at a loss to recover his hidden treasure. He is equally alert in seizing the young hares and rabbits, before they have strength enough to escape him; and when the old ones are wounded and fatigued, he is sure to come upon them in the moments of distress, and to show them no mercy. In the same manner he finds out the nests of the partridge and the quail, and seizes the mother while sitting. The fox is so voracious that, when deficient of better food, he devours rats, mice, lizards, toads, and serpents. Insects and shellfish he is likewise sometimes known to eat. In vain does the hedgehog roll itself into a ball to oppose him: this determined glutton teases it till it is obliged to appear uncovered, and then devours it. The wasp and the wild bee are attacked by him with equal success. Though at first they fly out upon their invader, and actually oblige him to retire, yet this repulse is but for a few moments, till he has rolled himself upon the ground, and thus crushed such as may have stuck to his skin: he then returns to the charge, and at length, by dint of perseverance, obliges them to abandon their combs, which he greedily devours, both wax and honey. The young foxes are born blind, like dogs; like them, too, they are eighteen months to two years in coming to perfection, and live about thirteen or fourteen years. They are nursed with great affection by the mother, who has been known to run with them in her mouth a long distance when hunted. The senses of the fox are as good as those of the wolf; his scent is more acute, and the organ of his voice is more supple and more perfect. The wolf is never heard but by dreadful howls, while the fox only yelps, barks, and sends forth a mournful sound, resembling the cry of the peacock. His tones, too, are different, according to the different sentiments with which he is affected. He has one sound expressive of desire, another of murmur, another of sorrow, and another of pain: the latter is never heard from him, unless in the instant that he is wounded by an arrow and has lost the use of some member; for, like the wolf, when attacked with cudgels alone, he never murmurs, but will defend himself with obstinacy, and fight in silence to the last gasp. He bites dangerously, and with such determined fury, that, in order to make him relinquish his hold, ponderous wooden and even iron bars are necessary to be forced between his jaws. The flesh of the fox is not so bad as the flesh of the wolf. Dogs, and even men, eat it in autumn, especially if the animal has fed on grapes; and, in winter, good furs are made of his skin. He sleeps so sound that, however closely approached, there is no great danger of awaking him. When he only means to rest himself, he stretches out his hind legs, and remains flat on his belly. In this posture he watches for the birds as they perch on the hedges; who no sooner perceive him, than they give each other warning of their approaching danger. The jackdaw and the magpie, in particular, often follow him along to the distance of one hundred paces, still towering beyond his reach, and, with their cries and notes of hostility, apprise other animals to beware.

DOCTOR QUOLF'S BLACKBERRY ELIXIR OF VIGOR! Oft imitated, never equaled!
"My husband once awoke in the middle of the night in our residence in the Wharf District to discover, to his horror, that an enormous rat had just bitten off the big toe of his left foot! Instantly I poured half a bottle of Dr. Quolf's Elixir into a bowl and submerged his wounded foot into the liquid. By dawn he began to suffer from fever and delirium, and despite the best efforts of the city's physicians he had passed away by the following noon. However, on returning home, I found that the rat had returned in my absence, had drunk the whole bowl of Dr. Quolf's elixir, and had straightaway keeled over--dead as a dead doornail. Sweet revenge! Thanks, Dr. Quolf!" -- the widow S. u-M. L., Drache

NOTICE
The Hestabbatek Thraxrath had hoped to begin serializing a story entitled "Sabrika the Fox Princess" with this week's issue. We have been promising the first installment for the past several numbers on the basis of an exclusive contract we have with the celebrated Drache author Nerboth Mirod. According to the terms of this contract, Mr. Mirod is to deliver us fifty weekly chapters of "an intriguing and exciting tale of adventure, entitled 'Sabrika the Fox Princess'" in return for a negotiated sum. Mr. Mirod's health has hitherto prevented him from delivering, something with which we can only be sympathetic, the matter being quite beyond his control. Now, however, he has demanded an increased sum per episode in violation of the terms of the contract, and threatens to have "Sabrika" published in the Drache Rumormill if we do not comply. The Public should be advised that any such publication would violate the terms of the contract in our possession. We trust that Mr. Mirod will come to his senses and that the voluptuous vixen Sabrika will make her debut in these pages with our next (and fourth) weekly issue. By the above article "About the Fox" we also wish to demonstrate that we are capable of obtaining fox-related material from sources other than Mr. Mirod.

CURRENT BOUNTIES
Compiled from the official gazetteer issued by the Royal Guard. Be sure
to mention the Hestabbatek Thraxrath when you haul them in!
+ 1000 crowns - Norpovath Quar; Tarla Nixkenixe; the "Green Killer"
+ 610 crowns - Arin`Tar
+ 400 crowns - Mesderal
+ 330 crowns - Gamora
+ 250 crowns - Base the vampire
+ 200 crowns - K'lost the orc; Gashlin the gnoll
+ 185 crowns - Brucan
+ 175 crowns - Tybalt
+ 165 crowns - StarShade
+ 150 crowns - Any leader of the Green Talon
+ 145 crowns - Trysta` Ravensk
+ 90 crowns - Kasprena
+ 40 crowns - Merik
+ 25 crowns - Any member of the Green Talon

REAL ESTATE FOR SALE
+ Fourplex residential house in the Blkdragon District, aqueduct and sewer connections, nice mosaic floor, several fruit trees in enclosed garden, five-stall stables with room for expansion, near the Blkdragon Inn ferryport and stagecoach lines. 1750 crowns or best offer. + Cozy house on the Market Street, Blkdragon District, with main room and loft, spacious cellar for wine etc., place for one horse, no vermin. 400 crowns.
+ Village of Peralkerrat, one day's journey from Drache on the Darian River. 8 houses, 4 barns in village; regularly rent on 12 quobs of farmland. Owner selling because manor house burned and not salvageable; does not want to rebuild. 1700 crowns.
+ Contact GANKA & LAKROD, agents, on the Market Square in Drache.

REAL ESTATE WANTED
+ Wanted to buy or rent LARGE BUILDING; must be strong, durable, well-kept, with good security, sizable rooms and windows. Ask for Drackus or Light at the Blkdragon Inn.
+ Wanted to buy LAND NEAR DRACHE, preferably with a hill or mountain, stream or vegetation, in return for money or services, contact Xak Jonson at the Blkdragon Inn.

OFFERS OF EMPLOYMENT
+ I WANT YOUR FEET! Stompers required for seasonal work in Darian Valley wine production. Room, board, and transportation provided. Visit the Market Street or Anchor Row storefronts of Valkrath & Sons for details.
+ Capable ASSASSINS OR MERCENARIES wanted. Talk to the old beggar in the Dark Wyvern Street.
+ NOW HIRING employees to perform varied duties: construction, security, scholarly, and janitorial jobs. Contact Varscona Savante at the Tower in Iron Gate Street.
+ MESSENGER wanted. Apply to Orgod & ul-Bralth, Anchor Row.
+ NURSE AND HOUSEKEEPER sought for elderly bedridden gentleman in northeastern Drache. Should have a good voice and know the old songs. Visit the Hestabbatek Thraxrath office for contact information.
+ "ADVENTURERS" needed to recover some stolen items. Contact Xanthia Chivalraut in person or leave a message at the Ebon Fist Inn in care of Gurgi.
+ HISTORIAN wanted to stand in for client at Professor S. Vansippa's summer examination at the Royal University, for generous remuneration. Inquire at the "Tagranakel" fraternity house.

SEEKING EMPLOYMENT
+ FAIRY WISP seeks work. Can perform some magic, such as lighting and healing; can also carry things; honest and unable to lie. Contact I`Ado at the Blkdragon Inn.
+ I SEEK WORK in any fields you have available: guarding, gardening, heavy labor of any kind, etc. Contact Caleb Johnson at the Blkdragon Inn.
+ SKILLED SILVERSMITH seeks employment with a fellow craftsman or an investor willing to help me to set up shop on my own. Examples of my work and references available on request. Contact Alathrel Quarflis, residing at Rilpoki's Corner.
+ RECENTLY ESCAPED SLAVE seeks position. I cook, clean, and do just about anything else. I do as I'm told and don't talk back. Leave a message for Talena` at the office of the Hestabbatek Thraxrath.
+ CHAMBERMAID seeks position. Formerly employed by the late Councillor Shannon Devereaux. Leave message for Nistgi Serpigal at the Hestabbatek Thraxrath office.
+ WILLING TO DO ANYTHING. I have no money, no food, no place to stay, and need to make money fast. Contact Dark`Angyl at the Blkdragon Inn.

SHIPPING
+ Departing for Sivriana on 12. VII. 470, the Elfin Lass, Capt. Kenglith "the Herring" Mitrod. Returning 15. VII. 470.
+ Departing for Ethcabar and Selrose Bay on 9. VII. 470, the Laughing Mermaid, Capt. Bralth Nelxik. Inquiries welcome for freight or passage. + Arriving from SECCA with great riches, the Brine Goose, Capt. Sarnem Lurinthun; expected about 10. VII. 470, depending on the whim of the winds.
+ Departing for Mysthaven on 12. VII. 470, the Squiggle Squid, Capt. Numrulek Ruflin. Proceeds of the voyage to benefit Ellurian refugees.

HONESTY
Sir Den Bedwyre was once called upon to testify in court regarding a brawl to which he was a witness. His coach was present on this occasion and tells that the judge asked the well-known sportsman, "You're a hinterplodder for the Drache grubball team, aren't you?" Bedwyre replied that he was. The judge went on: "What sort of a hinterplodder are you?" Bedwyre squirmed uncomfortably for a moment and then, turning red, replied: "Judge, I'm the best damn hinterplodder Drache has ever had." The coach, who knew that Bedwyre was normally very humble and self-deprecatory, was astonished, and after the trial he asked: "Den, whatever made you say such a thing?" Bedwyre hung his head and answered, "I didn't like to, sir, but what could I do? I was under oath!"

PUZZLE
Hurn, Valk, and Quar are a wheelwright, a shipbuilder, and a tinker -- but not necessarily in that particular order. The tinker, who is a bachelor, is the tallest of the three. Hurn, who is Quar's son-in-law, is shorter than the shipbuilder. Which trade does each of these men pursue?

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Number 4 -- 15. VII. 470.

Post by Karras » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:15 am

HESTABBATEK THRAXRATH, or The Weekly Gemstone
"For the Moral and Cultural Improvement of Our City"

Drache, Transdariania. Number 4. 15. VII. 470.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

GENTLE READER, we are pleased to deliver to the public this our fourth number, though we are less pleased with certain foul allegations bruited about by one Sly Hacker regarding both this publication and my own person. Some of the allegations are too crude and ludicrous even to bear refutation. Nevertheless, it must be noted that the Hestabbatek Thraxrath has no connection whatsoever with Mott the Gnoll. Furthermore, the piece written by Doctor Quolf on gut-worms has been criticized as "not suitable for the breakfast-table." Worms are a serious matter, and it would do the people of Drache no good either to censor such valuable information about their prevention, or to clothe it in euphemisms. Thus I stand by the inclusion of this piece as a legitimate public service, whereas the personal attacks and rumors disseminated by Sly Hacker do no good to any man, woman, or beast. Finally, we do not investigate advertisements placed in the Gemstone and trust that they are what they appear to be. In keeping with this publication's values, we have already rejected advertisements for certain services at the sign of the golden cormorant on Broad Street in the Red Lantern District, and should we have evidence that any advertisements submitted to us are connected with immoral activities they will likewise be rejected. Menxvan preserve us all from the filth-mongers and their lies. The recent appearance of a broadsheet known as "Drekithek Laserxekoth," or "the Drache Teen," aimed directly at our impressionable youth and filled with lurid musings regarding Keristoth Kenedek and others, is yet more alarming. But, to end on a brighter note, we wish our readers a happy Sakrat-ul-Melx!

EMERETH QUARSPIN, Editor.

+ Postscript: Do not neglect to observe our "Sabrika the Fox Princess" contest below.


ENTERTAINMENTS, by K. the Critic
+ Malkrath's Trained Rats will be performing this week at the Lockrey Circus. If you have not seen these rats in action before, you will not wish to miss it: they dance and jump under Malkrath's masterful direction to the accompaniment of fiddles and cymbals with a precision and grace matched by few troupes of any sort. One has a hard time believing these are real sewer rats, but I have personally inspected them and there is physically nothing unusual about them. Also featured is Delvige Larx, an amazing markswoman who they say can cleave a grain of rice at a hundred paces.
+ At the Boar's Head Theatre, "Innocence Triumphant" with Sarpi Lakrat and Bralth Valkpodar entered its third week with something of a riot. I had reported last week a rumor that the owners of the theatre had promised if 500 people attended a show Miss Lakrat would perform her role in the nude. Apparently this rumor was unfounded, but some 800 persons having read this statement in the Hestabbatek Thraxrath last week attended the next performance of "Innocence Triumphant," and when it became known that Miss Lakrat would appear fully clothed as in the regular performances the crowd became unruly, demanded its money back, and did some 200 crowns worth of damage to the theatre itself. The owners have cancelled further performances of "Innocence Triumphant," an action which might well be described as "good taste triumphant."
+ Hurn's Windmill presently offers a curious display of exotic butterflies and snakeskins collected from around the world, demonstrating well the artistic flair of Menxvan.

HAPPY SAKRAT-UL-MELX
As we all know, the 20th of this month is the Sakrat-ul-Melx or Sun's Rest holiday, marking the start of the Third Planting. Be certain to wear the traditional green clothing on this most festive of days; and note that this is not a day for modesty when it comes to revealing one's limbs; or for skimping on cider! For the enjoyment of our readership we supply the words to the following Sakrat song. Although most know the first verse, the other verses may not be familiar to all readers:

1. The third seed's planted in the earth
And so with merriment and mirth
We gorge unmindful of our girth
Tra la la la la.
2. Let not the cider cup be waiting
While the world is celebrating,
Be it e'er our winethirst sating
Tra la la la la.
3. Dance with every comely maiden
Who with features fair is laden
And with locks together-braiden
Tra la la la la.
4. Frolic in the summer sun
But when the moonlit night's begun
Be sure you've snared a pretty one
Tra la la la la.
5. When the twilight shadows creep
And you lay you down to sleep
Relish the company you keep
Tra la la la la.
6. The Sakrat is the time of year
When we overcome our fear
Through the swilling of good beer
Tra la la la la.

+ Although the Sakrat-ul-Melx holiday is a time for good cheer and exuberance, we trust that the Gemstone's readers will have the good sense to remember that moderation is always a virtue; and that a frolicsome Sakrat is much marred by a woeful hangover or a child born outside the blessing of Menxvan, i.e. wedlock. Let your conscience be your guide.

Doctor Quolf on "GRIEF"
This depressing affection of the mind, called a passion when experienced in the extreme, sometimes degenerates into confirmed melancholy, despair, and fatal insanity. It is the offspring of so many and varied causes, that it is next to impossible to enumerate them. It is sometimes caused by cheerless and gloomy presentiments of the future; sometimes by the heavy pressure of present evils and calamities; and, not unfrequently, by strong and vivid recollections of losses which can never be retrieved. Seriousness, depression of spirits, melancholy, grief, despair, insanity, are but the different modifications of the same passion or predisposition of the moral faculties, of whose essence we in reality know nothing abstractedly, only differing in degree of force and effect, in proportion to the strength or weakness of operating causes. For instance: seriousness and solemnity of feeling are always produced in a mind of sensibility and reflection, by the sight of a dead body; of limbs lopped away in battle; of the sentient mind in ruins; and of misery exhibited to us under any form. In these cases the effects produced are but temporary, and usually pass away with the removal of the objects which excited them. If, however, serious and solemn feelings be often reproduced in the mind, by reiterated exhibitions of objects capable of exciting them, their impressions will become more durable, and soon produce a habitual tone of feeling, denominated "depression of spirits." When this depression of spirits is habitually indulged in for any considerable lapse of time, it is apt to gain so great an ascendancy over the active and resolute powers of the mind, as to dispose the person affected with its influence, to seek, in solitude and retirement from society, an indulgence in inactivity, irresolution, and gloomy reflections, which, becoming fixed, and as it were immovable, settles down into "melancholy." Seriousness, depression of spirits, and melancholy, sometimes produce mental derangements: but they are generally of a harmless, unobtrusive, silent, and inoffensive character, where the temperament is characterized by weakness, irresolution, and timidity. Grief and despair are certainly affections of a more active and powerful character than the aforementioned; and much sooner ending in fatuity or mental exhaustion, and outrageous or confirmed insanity. In such cases the consolations of religion and philosophy are of great importance; because they teach, in a language not to be misunderstood, that cheerless and gloomy presentiments of the future only unfit us for combating and vanquishing present difficulties; that the heavy pressure of present evils, and calamities which are irremovable, are lightened of half their ponderous influence by that fortitude derived from the inspirations of wisdom: and that it is the height of folly and weakness unavailingly to mourn over losses which can never be retrieved. The effects of grief are very remarkable. It diminishes bodily strength in general. Its effects in changing the color of hair are well known; and many instances have occurred, in which the hair has been turned from a deep black to gray in a few hours. From the excess of this passion, persons who indulge in melancholy reflections for any length of time, become peevish and fretful; and so extremely irritable that their minds find new food for sorrow in every object presented to them. Thus the whole imagination becomes affected, sometimes producing total insanity.

THE NIGHT SKY, by Tespin Melxgord Nulx
A couple sits outside an inn
And gazes to the starry sky
At Dilminth and at Peralin,
The coupled moons that hover by.
"My swan," says he, "just like those two
May you and I together be
In perpetual eternity!"
She answers, "Yes, but which one's you,
And which one's supposed to be me?
The one's far brighter there, you see."

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOUR DRINK SAID "I LOVE YOU"?
You might ask what goes into the Gorgon's Horn Dwarven Whiskey. All the ingredients are a secret Dwarven recipe, handed down through the centuries. However, we will reveal one ingredient to our famed whiskey: Love. The Gorgon's Horn Dwarven Whiskey is a labor of love for us dwarves at the Gorgon's Horn Brewery and Distillery. And while some might say the dwarves are a stolid, unfeeling lot, with hearts of stone, we think of our sharing our whiskey with the rest of the world as spreading the love. Sincerely, KRASNOR SLATETHUMB, Master of the Love. + GORGON'S HORN WHISKEY: DWARVEN FOR "LOVE"

THE DOLPHIN AND PORPOISE
The dolphin is in shape almost straight, the back being very slightly incurvated, and the body slender. The nose is long, narrow, and pointed, with a broad transverse band, or projection of the skin on its upper part. From the shape of the nose, among the Korthai the animal is called the sea-goose. The mouth is very wide, and has twenty-one teeth in the upper, and nineteen in the lower jaw, somewhat above an inch long, conic at the upper end, sharp pointed, and bending a little in. They are placed at a small distance from one another, so that when the mouth is to shut, the teeth of both jaws lock into each other. The spout hole is placed in the middle of the head; the tail is semilunar; the skin is smooth; the color of the back and sides dusky; the belly whitish. It swims with great swiftness, and its prey is fish, but particularly cod, herrings, and flat fish. They have fins on the back; and all resemble each other in their appetites, manners, and conformation, being equally voracious, active, and roving. No fish could escape them, but from the awkward position of their mouth, which is placed in a manner under the head. Their own agility is so great as to prevent them from being often taken; and they seldom remain a moment above water. Their too eager pursuit after prey occasionally, however, exposes them to danger; as they will sometimes follow the object of their pursuit even into the nets of the fishermen. A shoal of dolphins will frequently attend the course of a ship, for the scraps that are thrown overboard, or the barnacles adhering to their sides. A shoal of them regularly follows the ferry Narwhal between Drache and Selrose Bay. Their gambols and evolutions on the surface of the water are often very amusing. The flesh, though tolerably well tasted, is dry and insipid; the best parts are near the head. It is seldom eaten but when young and tender. Dolphins are said to change their color before they die, and again after they are dead. The PORPOISE very much resembles the dolphin in general form. It is, however, somewhat less in size, and has a snout much broader and shorter. Its body is thick towards the head, but grows slender towards the tail, forming the figure of a cone. In each jaw are forty-four to fifty teeth, small, sharp pointed, and moveable; and so placed that the teeth of one jaw lock into those of the other, again as is the case with the teeth of the dolphin. The eyes are small, as is the spout-hole at the top of the head. In colors the back is black, and the belly whitish, but they sometimes vary. Porpoises are very numerous in the Grand Canal of Aslar, where there is a white kind. They are seldom seen, except in troops of six or seven to thirty and upwards; and, like the dolphin, they are very agile and sportive. In the most tempestuous weather, they can surmount the waves, and pursue their course, without injury. Seamen detest them because they believe their appearance to be ominous of approaching storms. These animals live chiefly on the smaller fish. At the season when mackerel, herrings, pilchards, and salmon appear, the porpoise swarms; and such is its violence in pursuit of its prey that it will follow a shoal of small fish up a fresh water river, from whence it finds a difficulty to return. These creatures have been often taken in the river Darian, both above and below the Mingit Bridge; and it is curious to observe with what dexterity they avoid their pursuers, and how momentarily they recover their breath above the water. It is usual to spread four or five boats over the part of the river where they are seen and to seek to spear them the instant they rise. One porpoise yields about a great-barrel of oil, and therefore renders its capture an object of consideration. It is said that, whenever a porpoise happens to be wounded, all the rest of its companions will immediately fall upon and devour it.

DOCTOR QUOLF'S BLACKBERRY ELIXIR OF VIGOR! It's the thing!
There is a fair maid of Tralazir,*
And dizzying spells often daze her,
But when one afflicts her
She swigs Quolf's Elixir
And then not a dragon could faze her.

* The editor wishes to note that this is not how he himself pronounces the
name of the city Tralazir, which he believes should properly be
spoken to rhyme with "Drache." - E. Q.

CONTEST
The Hestabbatek Thraxrath had hoped to begin serializing a story entitled "Sabrika the Fox Princess" with this week's issue. It appears its proposed author, Mr. Nerboth, is having second thoughts about fulfilling his half of the contract. Therefore we hereby offer a Contest, open to all: whoever submits the best first installment of a story entitled "Sabrika the Fox Princess" will be invited to write weekly installments to be paid on the same generous terms we had agreed with Mr. Nerboth. The actual content of the stories is immaterial, so long as they might plausibly go by the title "Sabrika the Fox Princess." All submissions with be printed in the Hestabbatek Thraxrath, so long as they are not of a lurid and disturbing nature, but rather wholesome and uplifting and hence compatible with the rest of this publication.

THE FAIR AT HORNATH-UL-MARFED
The annual fair is now underway at Hornath-ul-Marfed. This fair dates back at least to the earliest written records of Arangothian history and is by far the largest regular gathering of people in the Kingdom. It has an unbroken continuity dating back at least to the time of Folvaholk ul-Fenduth, the Grand Duke of Northern Arangoth who is said to have built the castle in that city as well as many of the roads still in use today. These fairs, because they were a time when people came together from far and wide, led to the annual gathering of the Estates; and it is probable that the existence of this fair in his lands was in part responsible for elevating Tagran to the Arangothian kingship many years ago. Today the fair still draws merchants from all over the world. Have you ever smelt the precious herbs of Rondis or seen the hlindar of Thontaran, or the rint of Leturia? Have you ever smelt smelt fished from the waters of the Peraltok? Have you beheld the finest gemstones dug out of the rock of Ruthmarna aglitter in open market, or the lace fineries of the clothiers of Secca? All these things may be seen freely these days in Hornath-ul-Marfed, whose streets are garlanded with delightful wreaths of fragrant dararukia for the occasion to ward off those of ill intent. Surely if there is anything not now to be had in Hornath-ul-Marfed, then it is so obscure as to be safely specified as the object required to win the hand of a princess and a half-kingdom. The Sakrat holiday will coincide with the fair this year and is sure to be without match in the memory of any who witness it in that city.

CURRENT BOUNTIES
Compiled from the official gazetteer issued by the Royal Guard. Be sure
to mention the Hestabbatek Thraxrath when you haul them in!
+ 1000 crowns - Norpovath Quar; Tarla Nixkenixe; the "Green Killer"
+ 610 crowns - Arin`Tar
+ 425 crowns - Base the vampire
+ 400 crowns - Mesderal
+ 330 crowns - Gamora
+ 200 crowns - K'lost the orc; Gashlin the gnoll
+ 185 crowns - Brucan
+ 175 crowns - Tybalt
+ 165 crowns - StarShade
+ 150 crowns - Any leader of the Green Talon; Rachel
+ 145 crowns - Trysta` Ravensk
+ 120 crowns - Nicholas
+ 90 crowns - Kasprena
+ 40 crowns - Merik
+ 25 crowns - Any member of the Green Talon

REAL ESTATE FOR SALE
+ Fourplex residential house in the Blkdragon District, aqueduct and sewer connections, nice mosaic floor, several fruit trees in enclosed garden, five-stall stables with room for expansion, near the Blkdragon Inn ferryport and stagecoach lines. 1750 crowns or best offer.
+ Cozy house on the Market Street, Blkdragon District, with main room and loft, spacious cellar for wine etc., place for one horse, no vermin. 400 crowns.
+ Village of Peralkerrat -- SOLD to Kenglith Rukgord.
+ Contact GANKA & LAKROD, agents, on the Market Square in Drache.

OFFERS OF EMPLOYMENT
+ CENSUS TAKERS sought for the upcoming year 470 Drache Census. Apply to the Bureau of Records and Numbers, 2nd Floor, Castle Black.
+ I WANT YOUR FEET! Stompers required for seasonal work in Darian Valley wine production. Room, board, and transportation provided. Visit the Market Street or Anchor Row storefronts of Valkrath & Sons for details. + Capable ASSASSINS OR MERCENARIES wanted. Talk to the old beggar in the Dark Wyvern Street.
+ Wanted TABLE SERVANTS for large Sakrat-ul-Melx dinner; also DANCERS, MUSICIANS, etc. Respond to Tagranakel Fraternity, Royal Arangothian Univ.
+ NOW HIRING employees to perform varied duties: construction, security, scholarly, and janitorial jobs. Contact Varscona Savante at the Tower in Iron Gate Street.
+ GONGFERMER sought for emergency cleanup work. Apply to Sly Hacker.

SEEKING EMPLOYMENT
+ FAIRY WISP seeks work. Can perform some magic, such as lighting and healing; can also carry things; honest and unable to lie. Contact I`Ado at the Blkdragon Inn.
+ SKILLED SILVERSMITH seeks employment with a fellow craftsman or an investor willing to help me to set up shop on my own. Examples of my work and references available on request. Contact Alathrel Quarflis, residing at Rilpoki's Corner.
+ PRIVATE PHYSICIAN opening practice in Drache using traditional Arangothian remedies -- no magic(k), no glowing hands, guaranteed! Seeking clients. S. Dersenod, at the sign of the Coiled Adders, Market Street. Will barter services for food, household items, etc.
+ CHAMBERMAID seeks position. Formerly employed by the late Councillor Shannon Devereaux. Leave message for Nistgi Serpigal at the Hestabbatek Thraxrath office.

SHIPPING
+ Departing for Sivriana on 19. VII. 470, the Elfin Lass, Capt. Kenglith "the Herring" Mitrod. Returning 22. VII. 470.
+ Departing for SECCA and points west, the Brine Goose, Capt. Sarnem Lurinthun, on 18. VII. 470 or as soon thereafter as a full hold of cargo may be forthcoming.

NOT IN
We are told that Councillor Sarnem Vansippa has two ways of dealing with unwanted callers who go uninvited to visit him at his home. To those for whom he has no particular dislike, he instructs his servant to say: "I regret that Councillor Vansippa is not in at the moment." But to those against whom he bears a grudge of some sort he has his servant say: "I'm afraid Councillor Vansippa just left a moment ago, but if you hurry down the street you might be able to catch him."

PUZZLE
A king wishes to hire a bodyguard and sends out a call for volunteers. 625 men apply for the position. The king commands that they line themselves up in a square twenty-five men wide and twenty-five men deep. He orders the tallest volunteer in each row to step forward, and from these twenty-five he chooses the shortest man. But not liking this choice on further reflection, he orders the twenty-five to go back to their places. He now commands the shortest volunteer in each column to step forward, and from these twenty-five he chooses the tallest man. This is not the same man he had chosen earlier; which of the two men is taller? (ANSWER TO LAST WEEK'S RIDDLE: Hurn is the wheelwright; Quar is the shipbuilder; Valk is the tinker.)

DOCTOR QUOLF'S BLACKBERRY ELIXIR OF VIGOR -- Without Equal!
Doctor Quolf wishes the citizens and residents of Drache a happy and safe Sakrat-ul-Melx holiday. Remember that nothing wipes out a hangover like you-know-who's Blackberry Elixir of Vigor. You would trust it to cure your ingrown toenail. You would trust it to heal the sting of a wasp. Why not use it to counteract your post-Sakrat headache as well?





LOOK! -- LOOK!! -- LOOK!!!

Don't miss the next issue of HESTABBATEK THRAXRATH, the Weekly Gemstone:
the most eagerly-awaited literary event of the year 470!
Provided at great expense to us (but worth every quaspin),
Penned by the famed quill of the peerless NERBOTH MIROD,

The inaugural episode of

-- SABRIKA THE FOX PRINCESS--
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
AS THE ORC WARRIOR approached nearer, spittle trailing down his chin, his
notched scimitar raised as if to strike, Bralth desperately struggled to
free his feet. Alas, the quicksand was quite quick; and as a bead of
sweat lazily traced the horizontal contour of his nose he feared he would
not be quick for much longer himself, in the sense of "the quick and the
dead." The orc paused at the edge of the quicksand, smirking....
- --------------------------------------------------------------------------

Not another false alarm; this long-awaited writing is
-- NOW IN PRESS --

plus reviews of the must-sees and must-misses of the Drache stage, news of
-- PROMOTIONS IN THE ROYAL GUARD, --

a new MIND-TORMENTING PUZZLE, and a fascinating look at the habits of the
--PEACOCK --

startling tidings of the ship THE BLACK SWAN,

a rebuttal of vile allegations by the
IMPIOUS HERETIC
Julius Hamilton;

What are the longest and shortest place names in Arangoth?
FIND OUT next year? NO!
next month? NO!
next week? NO!

Available everywhere that is anywhere Loredas, 22. VII. 470.
-- Only Three Quaspins --
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Crowned Swan Press, Drache
Last edited by Karras on Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Karras
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Number 5 -- 22. VII. 470.

Post by Karras » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:38 am

HESTABBATEK THRAXRATH, or The Weekly Gemstone
Featuring SABRIKA THE FOX PRINCESS

"For the Moral and Cultural Improvement of Our City"

Drache, Transdariania. Number 5. 22. VII. 470.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

GENTLE READER, I continue to marvel at the kind welcome the Hestabbatek Thraxrath has been given by most literate persons of this city; but still there appear to be jealous souls who resent its success, believing that another's prosperity must mean their own loss. One Julius Hamilton writes in a broadside issued by the "Death of Innocence Press" that the Weekly Gemstone is "nothing [more] than a calculated attempt by the nobility to steer the public away from its destiny to better itself and again mire the poor [in] servitude to some nonexistent force much touted but not really in existence." It seems doubtful that the Weekly Gemstone is a plot on the part of the nobility, since to my knowledge neither myself nor any of the principal investors in the Crowned Swan Press are of the noble stratum. His other allegations collapse upon the slightest scrutiny and do not bear refutation in print. Of course, this barking dog is more an annoyance than a serious worry. But may Menxvan either grant him wisdom to write sensibly, and to contribute to our kingdom's wellbeing rather than prod it with sticks; or else shut him up. If Julius Hamilton cares about the people of Arangoth, why does he not take up arms and volunteer his services fighting the Assi on the eastern frontier or seek to join the Royal Guard in Drache? It is because he denies the very existence of Menxvan, and no fair offspring can emerge from the wedding of book-learning to impiety. He has enumerated lists of woes, but a comparison of his cunning folderol with actual grievances marked by the people of Drache reveals a wide gulf:

+ This is my plea: every person in this inn is going to end up dead one day. Stop the fighting so we may go in peace.
+ To all the powers that visit our fair Blkdragon Inn: I humbly request you control your abilities and spells while in the inn. We citizens are not gifted in the ways of defending ourselves beyond the means of swords and shields. If our guard were a little more effective, then perhaps such a plea would not be necessary.
+ Let Julius Hamilton solve such problems, and perhaps we will have cause to thank him as we thank such public heroes as Kellan Von Stahl, whose promotion within the Royal Guard is announced below. Julius Hamilton is clearly a man of great learning, and it is a pity his erudition has not yet been put towards the rectification of actual woes. EMERETH QUARSPIN, Editor.

DIVERS PROMOTIONS
The Hestabbatek Thraxrath congratulates the following individuals on their recent promotions within the Royal Guard: Solace to Spell-Lieutenant Commander; Kellan Von Stahl and Lucius Von Stahl to Arms-Lieutenant; Rornick MacKinead and Amarcia Rellinstaf to Arms-Corporal; and Rugo Fredac and Dark to Armsman.
+ Solace is an undead being of a variety known as a "lich." His promotion entitles him to wear a silver-braided swirl and requires a record of twenty-five arrests.
+ The Von Stahls, husband and wife, have been promoted simultaneously. Their surname is said to derive from a dialect of Common and to be exactly equivalent to the Arangothian name Glarfolvati.
+ Kellan Von Stahl, then Kellan Mistwood, was recruited by the Royal Guard at the end of Sarmatgentat 469. Half-elven, she is the twin sister of Cassidy Mistwood, known as the apprehendrix of the Spiral Killer. Lucius Von Stahl joined the guard himself about a month later, following in the footsteps of his father, who had served some years as an officer. Both proved their mettle in service rapidly, and according to what we have been able to learn they were married only early this year. Kellan Von Stahl is best known for her recent apprehension of Gatho, known as "the Butcher," but her reputation was already secure at that time because of her decisive actions in the case of the opium merchant Lady Oiachi.
+ The rank of Arms-Lieutenant, now borne by both spouses, is signified by the emblem of a single silver sword.

ENTERTAINMENTS, by K. the Critic
+ The Boar's Head Theater is closed for renovations after the riot which ended the final performance of "Innocence Triumphant." Miss Sarpi Lakrat is said to be recovering from the unpleasantry under the care of Menxvanic priests. We wish her well; which is to say, we hope her agents start finding better parts for her than this thespian abomination. + This week at the Lockrey Circus the Hurnkelet Twins will be performing. For those who do not know about this diverting act from Sivriana, the Hurnkelet Twins, Sarla and Tarla, were born joined together at the side; but, far from allowing this to prove a nuisance, they have developed an astonishing acrobatic and juggling routine putting to good use the fact that they are, in effect, a well-coordinated creature with four legs, three arms, and two heads. They must be seen to be believed. Last week's offerings at the Circus were, frankly, a disappointment. Malkrath's Trained Rats, while they carried out their gyrations without a notable glitch, did not show their usual enthusiasm and seemed a bit weary. Delvige Larx, touted as a great markswoman, was unable to cleave a grain of rice in twain at a hundred paces with a crossbow bolt as advertised. She was able to hit the grain of rice, true, but only succeeded in turning it into a bit of rice-mush. But the Hurnkelet Twins are sure to deliver a marvellous show.
+ A youth ensemble known as Lipsink will be performing tonight (the 22nd) at the Blkdragon Inn, consisting of (if I can get their barbarous foreign names right) Babi, Devi, Dixono and Splif. This critic believes the show will mean a boon for business at the Sorceror's Eye, the Mirage Cafe, the House of the Silver Swan, and anywhere else out of earshot of these lads' barely postpubescent yawp. This is the height of juvenile drivel inspired by the barbarous "leturek" dance that has been popular in Arangoth in recent years. However, those curious to see the depths to which popular spectacles can sink might find the display diverting if they can overcome their nausea. Personally I would prefer to watch several hours of Sarpi Lakrat doing Marcion Aldenbar impersonations.
+ The snakeskin and butterfly exhibit is still running at Hurn's Windmill. If you miss it, then when everyone else around you is discussing snakeskins you will feel rather out of it, won't you? Better see them.

PLACE NAMES
The longest official toponym in Arangoth is believed to be Bralkumpimebrogbensinothvesinettixkoithvanabrat, or "high place with an inn where two roads intersect." This name is given to a tiny locale on the mountainous post-road between Lurintheti Netri and Galanor. The shortest toponym is harder to judge, but possibly it is the village of Min on the upper Quartok River. The story is told that the Vorfon of Lanweboth, who established this village many years ago, had a mistress of whom he was very fond and vowed he would make her name immortal by naming the village after her. Therefore, when it came time for the Menxvanic priests to dedicate the village, he proudly sent her to name the village after herself on his behalf. She named it "Min," which translated into Common means simply "me."

THE ROYAL GUARD, by Tespin Melxgord Nulx
Who keeps the streets patrolled at night?
Who foils the vicious criminal
And breaks up those who seek to fight
Or in ways more subliminal
Prevents dire ills from multiplying?
Who with the public's foes has sparred,
And on whose work is Law relying?
Of course, it is the Royal Guard.
Revile them not with misplaced rancor:
If you see a guardswoman, thank 'er!

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOUR DRINK SAID "I LOVE YOU"?
You might ask what goes into the Gorgon's Horn Dwarven Whiskey. All the ingredients are a secret Dwarven recipe, handed down through the centuries. However, we will reveal one ingredient to our famed whiskey: Love. The Gorgon's Horn Dwarven Whiskey is a labor of love for us dwarves at the Gorgon's Horn Brewery and Distillery. And while some might say the dwarves are a stolid, unfeeling lot, with hearts of stone, we think of our sharing our whiskey with the rest of the world as spreading the love. Sincerely, KRASNOR SLATETHUMB, Master of the Love.
+ GORGON'S HORN WHISKEY: DWARVEN FOR "LOVE"

THE PEACOCK
To describe, in adequate terms, the dazzling beauties of this elegant bird would be a task of no small difficulty. Its head is adorned with a tuft, consisting of twenty-four feathers, whose slender shafts are furnished with webs only at the ends, painted with the most exquisite green, mixed with gold; the head, throat, neck, and breast, are of a deep blue, glossed with green and gold; the greater coverts and bastard wings are of a reddish brown, as are also the quills, some of which are variegated with black and green; the belly and vent are black, with a greenish hue; but the distinguishing character of this singular bird is its train, which rises just above the tail, and, when erected, forms a fan of the most resplendent hues; the two middle feathers are longest, the others gradually diminishing on each side; the shafts, white, and furnished from their origin nearly to the end with parted filaments of varying colors, ending in a flat vane, which is decorated with what is called the eye. The real tail consists of short, stiff, brown feathers, which serve as a support to the train. When pleased or delighted, and in sight of his females, the peacock erects his train, and displays all the majesty of his beauty: all his movements are full of dignity; his head and neck bend nobly back; his pace is slow and solemn, and he frequently turns slowly and gracefully round, as if to catch the sunbeams in every direction, and produce new colors of inconceivable richness and beauty, accompanied at the same time with a hollow murmuring voice expressive of desire. The cry of the peacock, at other times, is often repeated, and very disagreeable. The plumes are shed every year, and, while moulting them, the bird, as if humiliated, retires from view. The peacock has, in some countires, been esteemed as an article of luxury; but whatever there may be of delicacy in the flesh of a young peacock, it is certain an old one is very indifferent eating. Its fame for delicacy, however, did not last very long; for we find, in the time of King Tagran, that it was a custom to serve up peacocks at the tables of the great, with an intention not to be eaten, but only to be seen. Their manner was to strip off the skin; and then preparing the body with the warmest spices, they covered it up again with its former skin, with all its plumage in full display, and no way injured by the preparation. The bird, thus prepared, was often preserved for many years without corrupting; and it is asserted of the peacock's flesh, that it keeps longer unputrefied than that of any other animal. To give a higher zest to these entertainments, on weddings particularly, they filled the bird's beak and throat with wadding doused in inflammable oils, which they set on fire to amuse and delight the company. At that time peacocks were in such great repute as to be the subject of occasional knightly oaths. Like other birds of its ilk, the peacock feeds upon corn; but its chief predilection is for barley. There is, however, scarcely any food that it will not at times covet and pursue. In the indulgence of these capricious pursuits, walls cannot easily confine it; it strips the tops of houses of their tiles or thatch, it lays waste the labors of the gardener, roots up his choicest seeds, and nips his favorite flowers in the bud. Thus its beauty ill recompenses for the mischief it occasions; and many of the more homely looking fowls are very deservedly preferred before it. The peahen seldom lays above five or six eggs in this climate before she sits. The bird lives about twenty years; and not till its third year has it that beautiful variegated plumage that adorns its tail.

DOCTOR QUOLF'S BLACKBERRY ELIXIR OF VIGOR! Beware Imitations!
Oh yes, there are many who would like to hoodwink the public into buying their vain concoctions as though they had some curative properties vaguely similar to those proven time and time again to belong to Doctor Quolf's Blackberry Elixir of Vigor. But do not be fooled, since the ingestion of many of these other substances may be positively injurious to the health. In the interests of public health, we will name a couple. "Doctor Quilf's Blackberry Elixir of Rejuvenation" has been found to effect some cures, but the reason for this is that it contains approximately 20% Doctor Quolf's Blackberry Elixir of Vigor, watered down with stale beer. There is no such person as "Doctor Quilf," whereas Doctor Quolf is a nationally renowned apothecary. "Mott's Tonic" has been touted as both removing facial blemishes and encouraging the growth of chest hair; however, our own analysis of a bottle of this tonic has shown that it consists of nothing more than an admixture of equal parts canine urine, salt water, and soured milk -- a traditional remedy for zits already known to every villager in Transdariania. Often imitated, never equaled: DOCTOR QUOLF'S BLACKBERRY ELIXIR OF VIGOR. Find out why those who know are willing to pay a little more for it.


SABRIKA THE FOX PRINCESS, Chapter 1. by Nerboth Mirod

AS THE ORC WARRIOR approached nearer, spittle trailing down his chin, his notched scimitar raised as if to strike, Bralth desperately struggled to free his feet. Alas, the quicksand was quite quick; and as a bead of sweat lazily traced the vertical contour of his nose he feared he would not be quick for much longer himself, in the sense of "the quick and the dead." The orc paused at the edge of the quicksand, smirking.

"I don't suppose you'd be willing to help me out of here, would you?" Bralth bitterly inquired of his foe.

The orc let out a deep and sinister guffaw. "Help! Ha," he snorted, "not even your Menxvan can help you now. I could behead you from where I'm standing, but I think I'll just stand here and watch you try to breathe mud. That will teach you not to interfere with orcs."

"Perhaps," admitted Bratlh. "But it won't have much of a deterrent effect on others if I don't live to tell the tale, will it?"

The orc pondered this for a moment. "You have a point, human," he conceded. "But I have an even bigger point, and it's the thing at the end of my scimitar."

Bralth shuddered, realizing that he was now sunk in the sand up to his knees. "Very well," he said, "I might die now, but you keep your filthy orcish paws off the village. Others will come after me to defend it... I know they will."

"I will personally dine on their livers," responded the orc. "And for every orc you have slain I will sire a half-orc child with one of your village maidens before I eventually gut her -- in my own good time."

"Me -- slay orcs?" countered Bralth. "Why, these notches on my scabbard are just a way of keeping track of the days till first planting."

With that he suddenly threw his dagger, burying its point deep into the orc's belly. Or rather, he suddenly threw his dagger, attempting to bury its point deep into the orc's belly; in actuality, the orc swiftly raised his shield and the dagger embedded itself in that instead. Withdrawing it, the orc chortled merrily. "Why, thank you, human," he said, "it would have been a pity for this fine blade to end up down there with your tormented bones. I will be sure to bathe it in the warm blood of many of your kinsfolk. Good timing on your part as well; it looks as though your arms will soon be out of commission."

"I'm not sinking that quickly, you filthy swine."

The orc now stretched himself out on the ground just outside the patch of quicksand under a tree, yawning. After taking a swig from the canteen at his side he proceeded to unstrap his boots and take them off, wiggling his hairy orcish toes in the open air with a sigh of contentment.

Bralth grimaced. "Your feet smell like Khalar cheese."

"It's the only incense you'll have at your funeral, human," snapped the orc, "so enjoy it."

"Your feet STINK!"

The orc whirled around at the sound of this female voice -- how had anyone managed to approach so close without him hearing? He found himself face to face with a fox standing at his rear, drooling even more than he was. "What -- what did you say?"

"She said nothing," returned the same voice from nearby. "The foxes speak only among themselves, or to me. Now I am going to kill you." The orc looked to the other side, where there was a second fox, and then up. With that, a figure sprang down from the tree; and before the orc had a chance to blink, his head was lying at his feet. The figure stooped down and hoisted the orcish head by its oily hair, dangling it before her own face. "Nobody brings stinky feet into my forest and lives," she said, and then catapulted the head into the quicksand with a resounding "splock." Then she turned expressionlessly towards Bralth, the two foxes crouching to either side of her.

Bralth saw a young woman with long hair the color of a raven's wing (i.e., black), clad in a garment seemingly woven together from nothing but variously hued leaves and flowers of the forest. Even if he had spotted a girl of such extraordinary attractiveness in the village, wearing ordinary clothing and unaccompanied by foxes, he would have looked twice; but under these unusual circumstances, she certainly had his attention so much that for a moment he forgot about the quicksand that was just now filling his belly-button. But her gaze was unwelcomingly icy.

"Please, whoever you are," he finally managed: "help me...."

"YOUR feet stink too," she observed. "My foxes can smell you for quobs around. But it is not quite the foul stench of orc-feet. Why should I help you?"

"I... I am the enemy of your enemy, and therefore a friend," suggested Bralth, holding out his hatch-marked scabbard. "See -- I have bested many orcs, protecting the village from their vile incursions."

The foxes barked at the word "village," and the girl threw back her head with a frown, sticking the ground with the point of her sword darkly streaked with viscous orc-blood. "The villagers kill my foxes," she snarled. "We have many enemies, and many of our enemies are also each other's enemies."

"Yes," admitted Bralth, "we do kill foxes, but they kill our chickens."

"You kill your chickens to eat them too," said the girl. "But at least my foxes do not use evil weapons of metal to do so."

Bralth gulped. "But... you just used a weapon of metal to kill that orc...."

The girl paused, exchanging glances with the two foxes at her bare and shapely feet. The foxes seemed unusually intelligent for foxes, thought Bralth; or perhaps he had just never had cause to judge a fox's opinion on anything before. "You have a point," acknowledged the girl, "but I have a bigger point, and it's the thing at the end of my sword."

"That's just the sort of thing an orc would say!" exclaimed Bralth. "But if I can't reason with you, then please let me beg you: don't let me die this way."

"I suppose," said the girl, raising her blade, "I could slay you swiftly and spare your suffering. But you often leave my foxes to die agonizing deaths in your barbaric traps."

Bralth shook his head slowly. "Never mind, whoever or whatever you are. Perhaps it is better this way. It would be too humiliating for me, anyway, to have been rescued... by a woman."

The girl's eyes widened angrily. Without another word, she turned abruptly on her heel, vanishing into the forest like a gazelle, with the two foxes loping after her. The forest was again quiet. A mosquito landed on Bralth's nose, which he brushed away; but his elbows trailed through the inexorably-advancing quicksand as he did so.

There was a sudden crash, and a thick branch toppled onto the quicksand, just narrowly missing Bralth's head and sending up a flurry of twigs and dead leaves. A bird squawkily flapped away from the scene. Then a voice echoed from the treetops: "Tell them you were rescued by Sabrika the Fox Princess."

Bralth clutched the branch and drew himself along it through the quicksand until he reached firm ground. He retrieved his dagger from the decapitated orc's side, replaced it in its scabbard, and dashed back to the village as fast as he could run.


CURRENT BOUNTIES
Compiled from the official gazetteer issued by the Royal Guard. Be sure
to mention the Hestabbatek Thraxrath when you haul them in!
+ 1000 crowns - Norpovath Quar; Tarla Nixkenixe; the "Green Killer"
+ 610 crowns - Arin`Tar
+ 425 crowns - Base the vampire
+ 400 crowns - Mesderal
+ 330 crowns - Gamora
+ 200 crowns - K'lost the orc; Gashlin the gnoll
+ 185 crowns - Brucan
+ 175 crowns - Tybalt
+ 165 crowns - StarShade
+ 150 crowns - Any leader of the Green Talon; Rachel
+ 145 crowns - Trysta` Ravensk
+ 120 crowns - Nicholas
+ 90 crowns - Kasprena
+ 40 crowns - Merik
+ 25 crowns - Any member of the Green Talon

REAL ESTATE FOR SALE
+ Fourplex residential house in the Blkdragon District, aqueduct and sewer connections, nice mosaic floor, several fruit trees in enclosed garden, five-stall stables with room for expansion, near the Blkdragon Inn ferryport and stagecoach lines. 1750 crowns or best offer. + Cozy house on the Market Street, Blkdragon District, with main room and loft, spacious cellar for wine etc., place for one horse, no vermin. 400 crowns.
+ Contact GANKA & LAKROD, agents, on the Market Square in Drache.

REAL ESTATE WANTED
+ Still looking to purchase that land with a large hill and/or stream or lake preferred; price is negotiable. Please reply to the Hestabbatek Thraxrath offices or send a letter by regular courier to Xak, who might be sought as well at the Blkdragon Inn.

OFFERS OF EMPLOYMENT
+ Looking for a NECROMANCER or HEALER sufficiently skilled to bring someone back from the dead; upon completion of this task, feel free to name your price. Contact Dias Coyne.
+ CENSUS TAKERS sought for the upcoming year 470 Drache Census. Apply to the Bureau of Records and Numbers, 2nd Floor, Castle Black.
+ I WANT YOUR FEET! Stompers required for seasonal work in Darian Valley wine production. Room, board, and transportation provided. Visit the Market Street or Anchor Row storefronts of Valkrath & Sons for details.
+ NOW HIRING employees to perform varied duties: construction, security, scholarly, and janitorial jobs. Contact Varscona Savante at the Tower in Iron Gate Street.

SEEKING EMPLOYMENT
+ I am willing to be anyone's BODYGUARD for a reasonable fee. Contact Terrein.
+ FAIRY WISP seeks work. Can perform some magic, such as lighting and healing; can also carry things; honest and unable to lie. Contact I`Ado at the Blkdragon Inn.
+ PRIVATE PHYSICIAN opening practice in Drache using traditional Arangothian remedies -- no magic(k), no glowing hands, guaranteed! Seeking clients. S. Dersenod, at the sign of the Coiled Adders, Market Street. Will barter services for food, household items, etc.

SHIPPING
+ NOTICE. The Black Swan, under Captain Emereth Quossatod, vanished in a storm while en route from Mysthaven to El-Ekki and is presumed sunk. This vessel left Drache on the 28th of last month. For further information on passengers and cargo contact the Drache Port Authority, who are currently in contact with the port officials in Mysthaven to determine who may have disembarked there and who remained aboard. Our condolences to the relatives of the captain and crew. The Black Swan had made regular voyages in the Southern Sea since she was first launched in the year 466, one of the first seacraft built by Barlow, Schaffer &c. in Drache.
+ Departing for Sivriana on 26. VII. 470, the Elfin Lass, Capt. Kenglith "the Herring" Mitrod. Returning 29. VII. 470. + Departing for Ethcabar on 24. VII. 470, the Slithering Serpent, Capt. Oryan Quar.
+ Departing for SECCA and points west, the Brine Goose, Capt. Sarnem Lurinthun, as soon as a full hold of cargo is forthcoming.
+ Departing for Mysthaven on 27. VII. 470, the Laughing Mermaid, Capt. Bralth Nelxik.

PUZZLE
Five friends, Kenglith, Sanglith, Marnuth, Emereth, and Bralth, each have a son and daughter. Their families are so close that each has married his daughter to the son of one of his friends, and as a result the daughter-in-law of the father of Kenglith's son-in-law is the sister-in-law of Sanglith's son, and the son-in-law of the father of Marnuth's daughter-in-law is the brother-in-law of Emereth's daughter. But although the daughter-in-law of the father of Sanglith's daughter-in-law has the same mother-in-law as the son-in-law of the father of Emereth's son-in-law, the situation is simplified by the fact that no daughter-in-law is the sister-in-law of the daughter of her father-in-law. Who married Bralth's daughter? (Answer to last week's puzzle: say X represents the first bodyguard and Y represents the second. If X and Y are in the same row, then X must be taller. If X and Y are in the same column, then Y must be shorter. If they are in different columns and rows, then let us say Z is the volunteer in X's row and Y's column. Z must be shorter than X, but taller than Y. So X will necessarily be taller than Y.)

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