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Turn 4 News

News of the 347th Day of the 40th Year of the Reign of Her Magnificent Highness, Adara the Glorious

Tournament News

The Great Tournament of the Izar finished after three great days of valourous combat. After hundreds of warriors went through their trials, the victor was finally announced as Draquim, Captain of the Company of the Black Serpent, who beat Salim al Hadar in the final contest. He was given a variety of fine prizes.

Other highlights included:

--Salim reached the final round having defeated the Obsidian General in single combat. The General showed masterful style and grace, but seemed flustered after the death of Tiki the Pygmy in one of his prior combats. After nearly half an hour of sparring, he withdrew from the field, bowing to Salim and claiming him the superior fighter.

--Draquim defeated Chang the Mighty, warrior of the Jade Empire, in his semi-final match.

Pygmy Warrior of Punt Dies in Tournament

'So, how was the tournament?'

'Ugh, don't ask: it was horrific. Someone died!'

'Died? But wasn't it meant to be non-lethal?'

'Huh! Tell that to the Obsidian General! They put him against this funny-looking, four-foot tall midget, all the way from Punt apparently, and in one swipe, he slit the poor thing's little belly wide open. All it could do was collapse to the ground...'

'That's awful!'

'It was so sad. The little thing dragged itself towards the edge of the ring, and you know that mad old-guy Bookwala? Well, he comes hobbling out into the ring, screaming for them to stop the fight, and the little midget dies in his arms. There wasn't a dry eye around the ring. The silence was unbearable.'

'Wow... Was that the only casualty?'

'Yeah, thanks be to Shaliq.'

'Ah well then, cheer up! Could of been worse! At least it was only an infidel!'

Death of a Hero

'Heard the latest? Captain Jabbar, he's dead!'

'What, how?'

'Killed in a duel!'

'But how? He is a great warrior.'

'Bad luck. He was fighting some Ash-kenz man, over a woman or so I heard. He disarmed the man twice, and gave him a chance to surrender every time, but the Ashkenz wouldn't, so he let him pick up his sword again. They were going at it the third time, and he was driving the man back,when he stepped on a loose stone or something, and just plunged onto the Ashkenz sword!'

'Did he die instantly?'

'Yes, I saw the spout of blood!'

'When is the funeral?'

'His men took the corpse back to their ship, seems he wanted to be buried at sea'

'He was a real hero, he was!'

Amulet given to Quitab

An expensive amulet was presented to Quitab al-hadar, the steward of Marinia last week by an emmissary of Abdul al-Hadar, as a reward for the taking of the once Zaniah city. Quitab's rule of the city has been the subject of much derision by the Zaniah, but the Hadar seem pleased by his tough handling of the local population.

Salim Poisioned

By announcement of the town crier:

'Let it hereby be known that Draquim Kaloran, capatin of the company of the Black Serpent, is to be placed under arrest by the order of the Calipha, for the crime of attempting to murder Salim al Hadeera using a poisoned blade at the final of the tourney held by the selfsame Salim al Hadeera.'

'Did you hear that? What an utter bastard?'

'Yeah! I hear Salim survived, but only just. That Kaloran is a viscious piece of work.'

'Wonder why he did it...'

Draquim and Nabeeha Arrested

Despite protestations of their innocence, Captain Draquim and Nabeeha of the Invisible College were arrested and questioned regarding the poisoning of Salim al Izar during the tournament. After much discussion among the Priestesses involved in the Trial, both have been released pending further investigation.

Theft of Sun?

'Oooh, that feller from the Black Serpent, he's a nasty one inne?'

'Didja hear the tale that he lead his army up to the sky and stole a great treasure?'

'Naw, that were the fellers in the balloon wasn't it? With the box containing a thousand minature kingdoms?'

'Hmmm... no... Wait, I know wot he did, he killed Omar and drank his blood!'

'You've been out in the sun too long, you have. Killed Omar?! The first bleedin' man?! He'd have to find him first! And that fella's meant to have walking the deserts for centuries, inne? Nah, 'e's not killed Omar...'

'Well, 'e's a nasty one, whatever it is 'e's up to.'

'Yeah.' *spit*

Pirates!

'My uncle works at the harbor in Marinia, and he heard the Hadar general there complaining about the pirates'

(puts on silly, posh voice)

'What! Only one ship! Where are the rest of the reinforcements!'

'Ummmm, sunk, Sir'

'What! There were 5000 troops on those ships!'

'Yes, Sir'

'What are you blithering! Don't just stand there, tell me what happened?!'

'It was the new pirate, the Scarlet Scourge of the Seas, Sir'

'What! Who is this man?'

'Ummm, don't know, Sir'

'What! Why not, you miserable nicompoop!'

'He wore a red silk mask, Sir'

'Imbecile! I am surrounded by imbeciles! Send out the fleet and hunt him down!'

(stops posh voice)

'Well, what do you think of that?'

'That pirate sounds very dashing and brave!'

Tailless Rat Plague

'Out! Out! Curse those rats!' (hits rat with broom)

'Did'ya get 'im?'

'I got that one, but that's the 10th this morning. They're all coming out of the old ruined house up the road, but I can't find a rat-catcher brave enough to go in there. They must be a new breed, 'cause they don't have any tails!'

'You need to talk to the Yilden. I was at a prayer meeting, and this nice man from the Order of Khal...Khal.... well something like that. Anyway, he said that him and his friends were going to deal with the rats, because (drops voice to a whisper) they might be ...evil.'

'I not much of a one for the Yilden, coming round 'ere, telling me to get up to pray and all that, but if they deal with the rats I'll be off to their temples like a shot!'

Boom for the locksmith trade

'Ere have you heard? I can afford to get married. My Jubala will be as happy as a pig in dirt.'

'How'd you manage that one then? Last I heard you were scraping by opening stuck cupboards for barely a sheckel a time.'

'Supply and demand, innit? Everybody and his dog has a door wot won't open or a drawer that's locked shut. Anybody wot had a key made of brass is bloody desparate, mate. I say long may it continue...'

'Good point, my pantry door is still locked and the milk that was in there has started to smell really nasty. I don't suppose..?'

'Well, for a pal - but it'll cost yer...'

Sea Captain goes missing

Captain Po, a respected sea farer from Muna, has vanished. He went on a solitary expedition to the desert without explanation and has failed to return. In the harsh climactic conditions of the wastelands the worst can only be feared.

Marinia falls - another massacre?

Marinia has been retaken by Zaniah troops a few days ago, after a night time raid. The Zaniah troops, lead by the company of the Black Serpent, attacked from the desert, driving the Hadar to the walls of the city and storming the gaps in their defences left over from the inital sack of the city. At the same time, a naval force, lead by a mysterious pirate captain wearing a flower in his cap, smashed through the docks, and entered the city. Even so, the Hadar would have held out had the population of Marinia not risen up against them. Armed by the pirates and lead by the last surviving member of the Zaniah family that once ruled this city, the locals fought with a savagery even the Hadar have rarely known.

Despite repeated calls by Captain Kaloran and the Zaniah leaders for mercy to be shown, the rebels spared noone, and the few Hadar that escaped spoke of unspeakable acts of butchery and slaughter, with surrendering prisoners gutted and left to bleed to death by the rebels in their lust for revenge. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, but what is sure is that the city once again belongs to the Zaniah, and that Quitab al-Hadar, its former ruler, has not been seen since the attack.

Demagogue calls for penance

As the Hadar lick their wounds after the sack of Marinia, they will not be amused by tidings from Gazala, where the local Yildun demagogue has once again called on the population to reject their ruler's impious ways. Speaking about the fall of Marinia, the priestess called for the Hadar to settle their debt with the Zaniah and make peace before Shaliq.

Boom for the locksmith trade

'Ere have you heard? I can afford to get married. My Jubala will be as happy as a pig in dirt.'

'How'd you manage that one then? Last I heard you were scraping by opening stuck cupboards for barely a sheckel a time.'

'Supply and demand, innit? Everybody and his dog has a door wot won't open or a drawer that's locked shut. Anybody wot had a key made of brass is bloody desparate, mate. I say long may it continue...'

'Good point, my pantry door is still locked and the milk that was in there has started to smell really nasty. I don't suppose..?'

'Well, for a pal - but it'll cost yer...'

Rats proliferate, cats to fight them

'Rats a foot long. I was playing in an old Fesk warehouse the other day when loads of them came out and we had to run away. One of my mates nearly got eaten by one of them but we got out just in time. We were lucky they don't seem to like the sun and it was that that saved us as we got out into the sunlight they stopped dead, afraid to follow. I've heard the cat people are going to come to wage war on the rats. They've got lightening fast reflexes and claws in their fingers to kill the rats. Apparently there are rat people too though, who are the ones behind the rat infestations and they're clever and already know about the cat people and are scared.'

The Great Smith Majid

'Majid crafts bloody gorgeous weapons. They're great! A great dragon was bound by one of his magical nets and he has crafted a weapon to slay dragons that when driven into them will fill their belly with fire and scorpions will eat their brain!'

Quitab poisoned

By announcement of a Hadar messanger:

'The honourable and great general Quitab al-Hadar was poisoned during the sack of Marinia and has died. This vile treachery will not go unpunished, you may rest assured, and those aiding the Zaniah dogs will be found and dealt with appropriately. Glory be to Shaliq'

The Rat Farms Raided... A Bit Late Though.

'So, did them Yilden turn up?'

'They did, but they was mostly Fesk, just with this Yilden chap in charge. Anyway they went in there, but they didn't catch any people, and most of the rats had already got away and hidden in my larder, Shaliq curse them!'

'Still, at least the Yilden tried to do something.'

'Yeah, not like them Fesk. I heard that someone was farming rats for the reward!'

'Oooo, if those Yilden catch him he'll be in big trouble!'

'Can't say I'd mind chucking a few stones at him myself'

Muna Has a Dragon Problem

As if the trouble with the Sea Dragon was not enough, Muna has suffered new depredations recently. Rumblings had been heard from mountains in the East for days, when suddenly out of the sky streaked a carpet moving faster than most would have thought possibe. Fast behind was the strangest of dragons, with neither skin nor flesh, but built composed of bleached white bone. In the middle of its ribcage was set a Heart of Ruby, and from its skull roared flame and death.

When the dragon reached Muna, it ceased its pursuit, though the carpet sped on. Enraged, the Dragon circled the city seven times, screaming obscenities about how the Sea Dragon of that city had called it coward. 'Fit only to let you pick your teeth with my bones, am I?' it bellowed, ignoring arrows pelted at it by the townsfolk below. Finally, it opened its maw and set alight docks and houses.

When all seemed, finally, lost, succor appeared from a strange source. The Sea Dragon, terror of Muna's shipping these past months, emerged from the water and fought a terrible battle with its airborne foe. It struck with its claws, spit water and acid to match dragonfire, and put up a good fight, despite its much smaller size. But in the end, there was no contest, as the Bone Dragon's skeletal wings could keep it at a distance that the shore-bound Sea Dragon could not match. Its shell cracked and oozing ichor, the Sea Dragon slunk into the sea. Pacified, the Bone Dragon withdrew to the east, leaving behind fire and ruin.

Here tales diverge, but most say that a young woman dressed in white emerged from hiding, and climbed onto the Sea Dragon's back before it made its escape. (Others say she was captured, but few believe them.) Whatever the case, cheers and thanks have been made to the Sea Dragon in Muna by villagers grateful for what defense they received, and prayers have been offered for his (unlikely) recovery.

Grand Vizier Abdul Kabar Snoozing Soundly

Though the Palace has done its best to keep the issue silent, the rumour is firmly out on the streets: Grand Vizier Abdul Kabar has fallen into a deep sleep from which he has not returned. Though the tale varies, this punctual man who always marked the rising sun with his prayers was thought ill for the first time in years when he didn't emergy by nine in the morning; by eleven, the palace was aflutter with mild panic.

There is no word from the Calipha regarding the issue, but the blackest of the Necromantic arts are whispered about in hushed tones on the street. Surely anyone who could rouse him would gain the Calipha's favour and be rewarded handsomely...