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News of the 333th Day of the 40th Year of the Reign of Her Magnificent Highness, Adara the Glorious

Fires of Retribution consume Necromancer; Gardens of Peace Scorched!

'Look, I told you.'

'Alright then, there is a great big burnt bit in the gardens of Peace. But I still don't believe the necromancer exploded!'

' I was there, alright. That Al-Daquar bloke trapped him, and then Elder Hikisha burnt him on a pyre. Then ten minutes later, he blew up, with a great big bang!'

One of Our Balloons is Missing

From the Royal Court comes word that a balloon which had been in the Royal Treasuries since time immemorial, a treasure given to the third Calipha, has gone missing. The Grand Vizier is said to be looking for it himself, and there are those who say he believes it has been misplaced in the normal shuffle of the palace--and those who say he is hunting a thief...

Salim slays army of Undead, escorts Draquim/Alia back to Shalazar

What a glorious sight! The Undead Slayer, Salim of the Izar, Steward of Amarat of the Flowers, comes into Shalazar at the head of his victorious army. Oh wait - who's that waving? It's Princess Alia of the Ruchbah - she looks glorious with her golden hair blowing in the wind on the back of a black stallion ridden by her rescuer Draquim Kaloraan of the Company of the Black Serpent. It is said that Salim broke two dozen zombies with those mechanical arms of his as his forces fell upon the undead minions of a foul and evil necromancer - who was dispatched by Draquim himself.

Priestesses in Splits

The campaign for the position of Elder of the Temple left open by Lady Quotana has been hotly contested between Alima Qutb of Asalah and Salma al Izar. On the three-hundred and thirtieth day of the year, the day after Quotana was laid to her final rest, the Priestesses met in the Temple to cast their votes, and the votes were evenly split, down to the very last priestess. Although this is an unprecedented case, the remaining Elders have settled upon a method of choosing who has been gifted with the eye of Shaliq--they shall gather together and decide by unanimous vote who the next Elder shall be.

It is therefore of great interest that both Alima Qutb and Salma al Izar have been selected as Inquisitors, to be responsible for the investigation of the poisoning of Salim al Izar--reputedly the victim of a poison found in Abdul al Hadar's palace rooms.

Crown Prince Vanished!

Throughout Shalazar, the Calipha's heralds have been crying day and night: 'Citizens of Shalazar, Crown Prince Tariq has vanished from the palace. Any who find him will be richly rewarded, and any who conceal him will be cursed and cast out.'


'I heard he was murdered by Puntish pirates.'

'Nah, he's been kidnapped by the desert tribes, so they can take over Shalazar.'

'No no no no, he ran off to be with his true love.'

'It was the rats, they ate him all up!'


'Great Shaliq! Isn't that Draquim the poisoner!'

'Yes, but isn't that Alia on his saddlebow?'

'Wow, he's rescued her! Huzzah for Draquim the hero!'

Five minutes later....

'What is all that screaming! What are all the guards doing!'

'Stop him! Stop that murderer! Draquim has killed Alia!'

[It is well known within Shalazar that after arriving back in the City, Draquim, Captain of the Company of the Black Serpent, presented Alia to Takiyah--shortly before gutting her with one stroke of his firey sword, before her mother's very eyes. While most stories in Shalazar become more lurid with the telling, this one is being whispered in hushed, awed tones...]

Beggar King roughed up

Bloody beggars are getting everywhere! 'Ave you noticed? That Beggar King chap, I keep seeing him everywhere I turn - ha! Some king that is - King of Scraps, King of Rubbish, is more like it. AND I saw him being beaten up on a street corner the other day - looks like it was enforcers for some gang or other - he's begged in the wrong area once too often it looks like...

Bookwala Returns with News of the World

'Have you heard? That mad old guy, Bookwala's really come up with something amazing this time!'

'What, more barmy stories about cats, pygmies and beetles is it?'

'No! He was flown into Shalazar by this huge gust of wind, I think it was that wind-djinn he's always bragging about, and he was standing on top of a huge map of the world!'

'A map of the world? Such a thing doesn't exist... no-one's ever mapped the entire world!'

'Apparently someone has, and Bookwala's got it. I tell you it was huge! It was left outside for quite a while before it got moved into the Jerezad quarters, I got a real good look, and I'm sure I could even see my house! It was so detailed.'

'Wow... so, what's he gonna do with it? Is he gonna enter it into the Calipha's competition?'

'By Shaliq, I hope not! If he wins that makes him the first husband of the Caliphate!'

'Ewwwww... good point... Ewwww! What a thought!'

Hero Sea Dragon and Pretty Princess in Beach Frolic Fun

There was a city-wide impromptu festival in Muna today as the sea dragon previously accused of sinking shipping was welcomed home to the city as the Hero of Muna! As gentle readers will remember he faced down the Bone Dragon that was devestating the city and was greviously wounded in the battle. Now healed, he swam into the harbour to be greeted by cheers and garlands of flowers that were thrown into the water. His devoted friend - a Lady of the Fesk - rode his back, dressed in brilliant white, and waved enthusiastically to the crowd.

Poor Takiyah!

It's sad when they get like that...


Past their prime, should have been pastured out...

Are you talking about Halim's bull?

No! That Emira of the Ruchbah - word is she's lost it.

She's Ruchbah - they've all lost it.

No, really lost it. Round the bend, screwy, nuttier than halva... Word is she's been locked up for her own safety, and is droolong into the wall...

Don't know about that but have you seen her replacement - bit of all right, she is. What's her name - Shikasha, isn't it? Where's she come from?

The wings. Ruchbah have more wings than a cave of bats. She's young though, got to have had backing from somewhere. Unmarried too, so I hear...

Salim Poisoned by Mad Salesman?

Hey, you know what, it turns out that the chamberlain was being framed after all, apparently they are about to arrest the guy who did it, apparently he is known to play with assassins toys anyway?

Yeah, he sells em on the streets so I heard?

What a bastard, setting up the chamberlain like that, I dunno how he thought he would get away with it?


Heard from a rather panicked young man running through the streets: 'Run! Run! The beetles are coming! The beetles are coming! We've stolen their map and now they're coming to kill us all! They'll kill us all! Run! We're doomed! We're all doomed! They'll tear our flesh from our bones, crawl into our skulls and eat our brains! They'll kill us all! The beetles are coming! The beetles are coming!'

[Elsewhere in the city, travelers confirm this rumour of a vast army of thousands of beetles, marching in unison towards Shalazar from Punt. They're just beetles, though--surely they can't cover the vast desert in less than half a year...]

Bookwala's Bijou Babes!

One day four shrill, high-pitched voices are heard to cry out: 'Hear! Hear, Stupid-Savages! Great Chief-Mighty-Tall-White-Tiki-Bookwala, Great Wind-Rider, and now Chief Mighty Pik'Ta Tribe comes before you! Bow, fear his great-might! Pik'Ta, ka-laka! Pik'Ta, ka-laka! Pik'Ta!'

Ali the Trader's House Raided... found... nothing?

Shalazar was treated to its normal degree of street theatre when a force of guards personally directed by the Palace broke into the home of Ali, merchant trader of no small disrepute. (His name having recently gained some stature through his sale of a marble egg to the Calipha herself, Ali had been doing brisk business again in the Free Men's Marketplace--up until then.) The guard burst into his apartments, searching for a bottle of poison similar to that found in Ali's chambers... but while officially they have 'reported their findings to the priestesses for investigation', if they had found anything, surely Ali would have been dragged into custody by now...