Part of the Regional Newspapers
Distribution: The Dancing Destrier
Ownership: Mage's Guild
OOC editor: Hmail Lanlan or News.
Tonight, Lanlan addressed the people of Xalious and the world to announce that the Mage’s Guild has killed Alithyk Caluss. The edict restricting undead has ended, and he urges all cities and nations to accept their people back, even if this war has changed them.
My fellow people of Lithrydel. It is my great and profound pride to be able to announce that finally, the Shade Nightmare, the God of Undeath, Alithyk Caluss, is no more. It was nearly eight years ago that the monster pierced our realm and threatened our existence and way of life. That threat is now permanently extinguished.
The visions of Its terror are scarred permanently in our minds. The Xalious Tree was corrupted by Caluss’s touch; its bark darkened and brittle. It’s branches sagged and stooped low, heavy with the darkness. Indeed, for a while it seemed the very nature of magic itself was at stake. Our allies in Cenril were nearly consumed by an ill wind and a baleful plague. To many of us who were there, the fire on that ship still burns behind our eyes. The memories of friends, killed and changed into monsters, tearing their own families apart, it isn’t something that can be forgotten. But I tell you now, the dawn has finally come.
Last Saturday, on the sixth day of Zayvann, I personally led a small team in an undertaking to exterminate the threat. We lured the monster to a place of power, into a trap, and though the fighting was arduous, the gods were with us. By joining together with people of various beliefs and methods of doing magic, we were successful.
Shortly after taking office, I uncovered a lead. A secret that could provide a solution to a problem caused even by a god. We pursued it beyond the boundaries of our world, to one of shadows beyond, and then to a place beyond even memory. We uncovered truths long buried, a history of how once, Xalious was a mortal. They faced a peril as great as ours, and we learned from the man, the god, how we might face and finally defeat Caluss. Finally, last week, the High Priestess and I uncovered the last fated secret and earned a chance to survive. I along with Valrae Baines, Khitti Herzegler, Kailani the Druid, Kanna Tsuji, Quintessa Blackwell, and even Kasyr Azakhaer, met Caluss in a place outside of time. A destined place, where the fates of all people would be decided. I lured it, using all of my guile and will, and we combined the forces of six great artifacts, to depose a god.
Though the hour is glorious, the sacrifices were many. Our beloved Tree has returned to us, fully, and our friends in Cenril are prospering. The most terrible visions of all are those that cannot be seen. The unreturned, the missing father and mother, the child gone too soon. Countless voids marking each of our hearts, holes that can never be filled. We must grow around our scars.
I’ve seen that we can. Even when the hour was dire, we, the people of Xalious, did not give up hope. Even when our resources waned, we shared what we could with our fellows. Even while recovering from the atrocities committed unto us by the Ossian Order, we opened our doors. We must do so again. The looming possibility, or even inevitability, of becoming undead slaves one and all, turned even bitter foe into willing ally. Our unlikely compatriots in Tristoth and Vailkrin have suffered much, and their woes do not end. Though we may enter an era of peace and prosperity, we must share our bounty, so that all peace-loving peoples may enjoy this success.
I am therefore ending my edict against vampires and undead; as our war was never against them. Caluss was not a savior to them, it is those people who’s final passing has been delayed that have suffered most greatly, losing their will, their minds, and even their families and friends, due to Caluss. Many of them will seek to return to their homes. We must let them. We must welcome them. For though their bodies have changed, their souls are the same. I make this proclamation to all cities and nations: let your people return to you.
And we must also give thanks. To the ones who’s sacrifice made our final victory possible. We give thanks to our valiant researchers and scholars who provided us the knowledge we needed, for they worked tirelessly to grant us the ability to survive. We must thank the Gods, who allowed us to meet our destiny; and in the end, lost a wayward son of their own. And I must thank you, the people of Xalious, for upholding us, your Mage’s Guild, for providing for us, for standing by us, for weathering this great and terrible storm together with us. An era of growth and stability is ours.
The impossible is always within our reach when we strive for it, when we collaborate, and when we can but imagine it.
XALIOUS TO ALIGN WITH CENRIL AGAINST VAILKRIN
In light of the recent assassination attempt on Mayor Valrae Baines, Archmage Lanlan has issued an edict: That no denizen of Vailkrin, no vampire, and no form of undead will be welcome in Xalious Village or its surrounding territories without presenting documentation that describe their House Affiliation, sire (where applicable), and/or resurector (where applicable). Denizens of Xalious and Cenril will remain unimpeded, and a census will be conducted during which Xalious citizens will be given identification forms that they should keep on them at all times.
In order to enforce this, Archmage Lanlan has reportedly collaborated with various lawmages from Cenril to make the edict magically enforced. As of today, it will be impossible for any vampire to enter a building or structure on the lands of Xalious without express invitation from an inhabitant.
Not only this, but Arcane Guard patrols are now posted at various checkpoints throughout the land. All visitors will be subject to magical scrying on their person and cargo. Additionally, in an effort to cleanse Xalious of any espionage attempts, such as the ones they’ve fallen victim to in the past, unused rooms will have their contents documented and warded. Any lingering magical effects will be dispelled.
When prompted about how these changes will affect daily life in Xalious, Archmage Lanlan had this to say:
From Archmage Lanlan, leader of Xalious, The Burrows, and surrounding Territories:
“The most important thing to me is that we stay safe. All of us. As you may know, Val–Mayor Baines, is a close friend of mine. What you probably don’t know, is that I was there that night, and lucky that I was. I was able to frighten off her assailants and ensure her safety. No, I didn’t get a good look at their faces.
Of course, I am taking all of this very seriously. We at the Mage’s Guild, and especially myself, have been at the forefront of protecting the realm from the putrid god-thing. We cleansed his corruption to the beloved vestige of our patron. We cleansed Cenril of the dire curse and ill wind.
Since then It’s gone to the shadows of the chaos to recuperate, we think. Though we’ve attained these victories, it seems we’ve lost one of our brightest students. We don’t rule out coercion or mind control, or some kind of possession; nor do we take the threat posed lightly.
To that end, if anyone has any information concerning the whereabouts of Quintessa Blackwell, I urge you to come forward. Do not try to apprehend her.
To the people of Xalious, I urge that you remain calm! Despite the horrors, we are thriving once again. In preparation for the Arh’nuk faire (which is just around the corner), I’ve invited various practitioners from various communities and organizations to celebrate the gift of magic with us! It should be an opportunity for trade, learning, fraternity, and festivity!”
There is an article which focuses extensively on the flight of avians. Avians’ ability to fly relies on both magical and physical elements. The physical elements produce the lift and steering that naturalists have come to observe in birds. Unlike birds, avians also require a bit of innate magical ability in order to operate their massive wings. A purely physical flight mechanism would require much larger and more powerful breast muscles than those common to the avian race. If you compare breast-to-wing mass of birds to the same ratio in avians, you will quickly learn that birds are the chestier creatures. The wizard author of this article, Kyl’oriel the Studied, theorizes that it is possible for an avian to be born bereft of magical ability and therefore incapable of flight despite its magical wings. To date, no such mutation has been observed in the avian species.
As Venturil prepares for war against the Preklek, the Sage Forest against the Drow (again) and Cenril against itself, this mage-scribe would like to offer some useful advice to any would-be soldiers amongst the Post’s readership. You, young soldier, may find yourself imprisoned by the enemy. As any prisoner of war will tell you, torture becomes your new daily routine, and maintaining some semblance of sanity your new daily challenge. Non-magical tips include creating a routine (outside torture), reliving past vivid memories, and reading whenever possible. But there comes a point, usually several weeks after solitary confinement with no yard time, in which even the routine of “tidy the cot and relive your favorite fishing trip” is simply not enough. There is a spell, appendixed to this edition of the Post as a public service, which can be useful in maintaining your sanity, even in a five-foot by eight-foot cell with no window or latrine. As you chant the spell, you must envision a small gnome or sprite inside your skull stitching your mind together from the inside with threads strung in the shape of a pentacle. At the end of each line of the each verse there is a letter in parenthesis which indicates the part of head which the gnome must touch as the line is uttered. This chant and visual exercise may seem paradoxical, given this unhinged spellcraft and its intention, but trust in the spell, prisoner of war, and escape with your wits. (ooc: Interested in the Venturil war? Contact Eboric. Interested in the Cenril war? Contact Kasyr and Alice. Interested in the Sage-Drow war? Contact Skylei and Gevurah.)
Josleen, daughter of Mage’s Guild member Kyl’oriel, has returned after having gone missing for 8 weeks. Ms Josleen returned unharmed, but the family does not wish to disclose what happened to her. The Post wishes the family well. (ooc: This is related to the Enchantment quest in Josleen’s personal arc. Contact Josleen to get involved.)
The Prestidigitation Post is doing its part to aid in the hunt for the shadowy beast that instigated a fight between itself, a squadron of drow from Trist’oth, Hildegarde, and two Kelay commuters named Krice and Leone [citation: The Town Crier]. Based on eyewitness accounts, the Post has pieced together a magically animated portrait of the beast in action. It is vaguely female, with a slender middle and large, dragon or bat-like wings. Its pigmentation is similar to that of the dark elves, but the creature was much larger and taller than the drow.
There is an educational piece on the importance of strengthening magical resistance. A lot of young mages focus on manipulating elements, creating illusions, reanimating flesh, and so on. Mages want to manipulate the world around them, but forget that sometimes the world wants to manipulate them. The article suggests some simple exercises for fortifying the mind and building magical shields. The article is surprisingly coherent and focused, only trailing off topic for one page out of six. The off-topic page consists of a personal anecdote about the time the author was seduced away from his wife, magically of course, by this absolute stunning bombshell of a young mage. Rest assured that the author, Ben Stine, knows it was not the body that seduced him for he is a faithful man devoted and obsessed with his wife. No, dear reader, he was seduced by a simple charm spell that he could have resisted had he fortified that particular resistance. Let this be a cautionary tale to you, young mages, lest you be seduced by mind-bogglingly sexy women.
Speaking of sexy women, who needs corsets when you have illusion spells? This month’s magic-for-mundane-purposes article focuses on getting your body bikini ready through illusory discipline. Eat cakelog without guilt!
It’s that time again: it is Archmage Tiphareth’s birthday! Celebrate his birthday the traditional way by sending the Archmage a delicious cakelog from The Dancing Destrier. The advertisement masquerading as an article is accompanied with several illustrations of different types of cakelogs. One illustration includes a happy Tiphareth enjoying his cakelog. He’s even smiling, and the smile is almost cherubic. It’s amazing what artists can do. (ooc: For more information look up ‘cakelog’ on the wiki.)
Murder at the Vailkrin Gala! An unnatural disturbance in Trist’oth (even by Underdark standards)! What do these events have in common? X marks the spot. X marks the name. But who is X? This bombastic article seeks to put the fear in every reader’s soul while crafting a compelling argument that X is Sacrilus, the former General of Arrecation. The evidence is scant, but convincing for those already inclined to be convinced, and unconvincing for those who “wish to keep their head in the sand.” Wake up, sheeple.
Whether or not you believe the evidence presented in two measly paragraphs, the following 12 pages offer an excellent primer on Arrecation history. Many ages ago, Arrecation, a dark immortal, raised an army and waged war against Sven, Lore, and Hind, and all of Hollow. He was resisted by the Divine Three, the Seven Sages of Hollow (Ravian, Noble of the city of Tritan; Dyven, King of Gualon; Nymur, Governess of Nayrul; Lorvac, Arc Chieftain of the city of Cruaghmoyle; Alrion, High Elven Druid of the Sage Forest; Xulven, Monarch of the Dragons; and Ceryl, Queen of the Pixies), and the Five Knights of Eurydel (Tiaren, Norodruin, Falcanthen, Ryvain, and Orvaac), among other heroes. During the war, 2/3 of the Sage Forest was burnt down and converted into what is today the Milous Plains. The war endured, and the mage details every single battle along with maps and battleplay, timelapse arrows that move across the paper. Throughout the war, Arrecation did not fight alone. He created from the essence of the Nameless King (or the Nameless One) seven demons and a general to lead them, Sacrilus. Arrecation, the seven demons, and General Sacrilus were defeated by the knight Norodruin.
However, Arrecation was too powerful to be destroyed in the manner in which mortal bodies are destroyed. Norodruin used the Black Rune of Nocturin to absorb Arrecation's dark soul, and the Red Rune of Oberyl absorbed Arrecation's body as a burning mist. He sealed the two rune-crystals by sacrificing his own life. The two rune-crystals were hidden apart from each other in an effort to keep the body and soul of the warlord separated for eternity. Oberyl was buried deep within the granite foundation of the Xalious Mountains, near the village of Baskar, while Nocturin was hidden deep within the thick mists of the Dragon Country. Of course, powerful items do not like to stay hidden for long, but that is a separate story for another time.
Sacrilus, also known as the Face of the Damned, was also too powerful to be conventionally destroyed, and he was reborn far west of Venturil as a dark green dragon named Xersom, which means ‘Shadow over the World.’ Here the myth begins to dissolve into conflicting rumors. (ooc: Any errors on my part oocly in retelling this history will be blamed on conflicting ic historical accounts and misinformation. Please correct it with letters to the editor, icly.)
This month’s magical uses for mundane tasks details student experiments in employing magic in cat herding. The hypothesis was that illusion magic could herd cats by scaring them or attracting them towards specific locations. So far, the hypothesis has been disproven. It is impossible to herd cats.
The Vorz Clan, one of the 13 ruling clans of Craughmoyle, seeks to restore the old Great Embassy of Craughmoyle to its former glory. But do they think of Xalious? Most likely not! This grumpy mage has certainly not seen or heard of Edrick Vorz, the dwarf charged with this undertaking. Why have diplomatic lines fallen along racial lines, and not the divisions of merit, intelligence, and worth? This mage argues, in five pages no less, that there should be an embassy for the Mage’s Guild, to represent arcane interests in this diplomatic experiment. (ooc: Contact Edrick to get involved, especially if you play a mage’s guild member who agrees with this article.)
Xalious’s very own Hildegarde the Silver, perhaps one of the most world-renowned Xalious natives in present day, has been given the title of Steward of Frostmaw. The village is proud! Frostmaw will be hosting a feast and tournament to celebrate its recent war victory. This is a great opportunity for village members to pay respects to our allied neighbor, and to witness Hildegarde in her new role as she oversees the feast on June 12th.
“Hildegarde, Knight Commander of the Queensguard in Frostmaw, originally hailed from Xalious. She is a known silver dragon of terrific ability, and that ability has led some to question her true parentage and race. Leave it to simple mind of Frost Giants to concoct the most absurd theory! Who knew the Frost Giants are as proficient with comedy as they are with weapons!” The article goes on for another paragraph ridiculing Frost Giants. Finally it reveals the great joke: some Frost Giants believe that Hildegarde is not just a dragon, but the daughter of Aramoth, the God of War. These “Hilde truthers” claim she has died and been resurrected twice, that she can plane walk, and that her so-called paralyzing gas breath is actually the death breath of Aramoth himself. The mage author refutes each point eloquently and condescendingly, and then apologizes for tearing down the Frostmawian idol, but the truth must prevail!
Two young, ambitious, and therefore stupid mages went on a mission to the Underdark to lay a magical trap for The Burrower. As one may expect, the mages did not make it very deep before they were attacked by an unidentified, fire-breathing Underdark beast. The mages survived, but suffered severe burns. It is this author’s theory that the mages faced Firemanders (fire + salamander), a fairly unintelligent creature which is easy to subdue with a basic frost spell. The author insinuates that the mages were defeated by their own fear and were saved by luck. The Tower cautions mages against heroics. (ooc: Contact Tenebrae or Tiphareth for more information on The Burrower.)
This month’s magical uses for mundane tasks focuses on hairstyling. Magister Templi Queen Satoshi has begun to wear her hair in a neat braid - “perfect in its devil maycare (and does care) execution.” This article offers a how-to-Satoshi hair guide with step-by-step spell and hair preparation methods. The author is wise to include the disclaimer that no matter how much you style your hair to look like Satoshi’s you will never actually look like Satoshi without the help of a skilled illusionist. Mage’s guild steward Kovl is recommended as the illusionist of choice for any Satoshi fan girls and boys.
The Village will host its annual harvest festival on May 29nd! The highlight of the festival is the Vegetable Masquerade, where locals and visitors from afar convene in Xalious donning masks and hats made of real, hollowed, in-season produce. Don’t forget to make your own masks using any in-season fruit or vegetable. Best produce headgear takes home a prize! [It’s usually more produce.] (ooc: Contact Josleen or Hildegarde to participate. There will be some magical mayhem and nonsense, and your character could be afflicted [your choice; it will be a non-maiming, non-permanent, non-fatal affliction meant to deliver an in-the-moment panic to give your character a bizarre experience which they will walk away from in one piece.])
The gnome baker, Bonita, of the Overpriced Cupcake Stand on the Eastern Xalious plains has dropped her prices from ludicrously expensive to shamelessly high. The article lambasts Bonita and accuses her of swindling Xalious residents, except for mage guild member Ezekiel Malovich who enjoys free cupcakes for life from the stand. Accompanying the article is an animated illustration of a cakelog being eaten by a pointy wizard’s hat which then burps the phrase ‘Eat Cakelog.’
Mage’s Guild News
This month’s issue elaborates at length on the uses of magic in agriculture. The author has employed these tricks in her own cultivation and comes just short of mocking the ‘bland’ foods grown traditionally using nothing more than soil, water, air, and dirt. Agriculture is the lamest. The article goes off on a bizarre tangent about how watermelon in particular is over-hyped and incredibly useless when cultivated naturally. The article eventually returns to the topic by elaborating that the watermelon’s saving grace is that the fruit is perfect for magical intervention. 12 pages: a surprisingly high number on topic, 10 pages, while 2 pages are dedicated to laughing at non-magical produce.
The shortest article in this issue declares that The Burrower in the Underdark must be a created or summoned beast. The author doubts that the creature came in existence by an accident of the physics of the supernatural. The evidence for tampering in dark arts is high and the author calls for more investigation into the origins of the beast in order to best study and understand the beast. Curiously, the author seems unconcerned with destroying the beast for the sake of saving countless lives. (ooc: Contact Tenebrae or Tiphareth for more information on The Burrower.)
The Village will soon host its annual harvest festival in May! The highlight of the festival is the Vegetable Masquerade, where locals and visitors from afar convene in Xalious, donning masks and hats made of real, hollowed, in-season produce. Don’t forget to make your own masks using any in-season fruit or vegetable. Best produce headgear takes home a prize! [It’s usually more produce.] (ooc: This will come into play in an RP to be hosted at Xalious soon. Please be on the look-out for an announcement soon from either Josleen or Hildegarde.)
Mage’s Guild News
Congratulations Kovl on ascending from apprentice to arcane steward! The article goes on for nine pages about Kovl’s magic, the creative ways in which he has employed it, and how Kovl has furthered the art of arcane magic. The article is really pedantic.
Zette also has been accepted as an entered apprentice within the Guild. She's a fae with a natural gift for illusion. The fact that she is not only a fae, but an illiterate one (currently learning to write under the tutelage of the Master Scribe), has given this article an opportunity to bloviate on how inclusive and tolerant the guild truly is. Of note is the fact that The Tower has not come under scrutiny for lack of diversity in many, many, countless centuries. The article is penned by an old (read: ancient) guild member who is laughably out of touch with how the guild is perceived in the public eye.
The Mage’s Guild thinks it’s a treasure for not just Xalious but all of Hollow. Every issue of The Post has an article dedicated to reinforcing this belief by highlighting practical applications of magic for layfolk. This issue focuses on how magic can tame unruly colts within a week, cutting in half any husbandry duties horse-owning layfolk may, thus freeing them up to do whatever else it is that non-magical folk do. 8 pages - 6 dedicated to magical application, 2 dedicated to snarking at layfolk.
There is also a section highlighting the use of magic in the recent Frostmaw War. It is also pedantic. In fact, if you didn’t already know that there was a real, recent war in Frotmaw, you would think that this article was about the theory of magical use in arctic combat. It is authored by Svilfon and often goes off on tangents. 15 pages, about 6 on message.
The Village News section is about a 10th the size of the Mage’s Guild News section. This issue talks about how the recent threat of Anann patrolling the Xalious Plains has died down thanks to, you guessed it, the Mage’s Guild!