Written by members of the community
We have just received a report from Castle Blackthorn, to be on a lookout for a LIVING snowman? It seems that Captain Julius has hired a team of old retired mages from the Mage Tower to make use of all of the snowmen that have been turned in from the Clean Up Britiannia campaign. We were not informed of what the mages were actualy working on, or for what purpose. The walking snowman was named "Snowy the Frostman" which later escaped the castle and was last seen heading into the north woods. We are informed that the snowman is potentially dangerous and should not be confronted but if anyone should see him, to please contact your local Magistrate. We will be continuing this story as it develops...
WINTER SOLSTICE PERFORMED TO END DEAD BOY'S SUFFERING
Individuals who specialize in these matters have informed us that the schoolboy who was mangled in the pumpkin patch this past Halloween by an evil entity is finally at rest. The spectre of the boy had been seen by witnesses haunting the fields in a piteous and ruined state until his schoolmates performed a ritual to end his torment. The feat was allegedly accomplished by taking a personal item, namely his security blanket and wrapping it around the base of a cornstalk, which would be decorated before the critical winter solstice to appease certain entities that are into that sort of thing.
TINKER WORKING ON MYSTERY GIFT?
Nancy Croblink, the wife of inventor Harvey Croblink is hoping for a better Christmas gift from her tinkering husband. She recalls the previous year when he invented a washing machine. After a week, she had gotten so many bruises from it, she had to go back to taking baths. This year she is just hoping for something more sensible and less painful. A Whispering Rose is all that she really wants for Christmas and perhaps for her husband to spend more time with her and fewer hours in the lab. She doesn't know what he is making for her but she has spotted him sneaking a lamp shade and a rather shapely hollow wooden leg into his basement workshop.
FRUITCAKE REVELATION BEGS SECOND LOOK
Fruitcake; it's been around for years, but how much do we really know about this familiar holiday treat? Recent findings have revealed information that may startle the public, namely where it is made. Surprisingly, no new fruitcake has been produced in the last 200 years. As a matter of fact, all fruitcake received as a gift is never consumed, but in fact is repackaged and re-gifted again creating an endless cycle of fruitcake circulation. It would not be so surprising to consider then that possibly the first incident that pushes Mondain towards the dark side was the receiving of a holiday fruitcake, and his first evil act being the rewrapping and re-gifting of that same fruitcake to another unfortunate individual. Historians are still looking into the matter, but we are sure that many of fruitcake's mysteries have yet to be unlocked and revealed. Only time will tell.
BRITANNIA'S ELITE OFFER TO ALLEVIATE CHRISTMAS POVERTY WOES
This year, Britannia's wealthy are offering a solution to the growing disillusion amongst the impoverished that occurs around the holiday season. The fortunate wealthy like Auric Goldman who we interviewed at his comfortable winter estate feels that the worst thing that the wealthy can do to solve the problem of scarcity at this time of year, is to encourage excess materialism amongst the have-nots. "Instead we are sending out a message of hope and of appreciation for what we currently have. There is not a day that goes by where I don't give thanks even for the little things, like my faberge egg collection, for example", says Goldman. He continues, "So, other benefactors like myself have been visiting the orphanages and homes of the less ostentatious to preach a message of hope and impart a little game to be played to remind ourselves to appreciate what we have." Goldman explained the rules of the "Glad Game" to the families and children. Whenever someone received something, no matter how insignificant, they were to use their imagination to see the best in it. "Imagination is a gift in itself; and a free one at that!", exhorted Goldman. A young able bodied girl upon receiving a pair of crutches, said that she was glad that she didn't need them. A father who had received a pink slip from his employer said that he was glad that he now had something to burn for a few moments to stave off the evening's cold. A young lad claimed, "It's probably a good thing I was born a boy, or else I wouldn't have a damn thing to play with on Christmas morning."
In 15 A.C. an explorer from Britain, encountered a group of people located in the northeastern lands of Britannia. He was amazed to find them there, and aside from sharing much news, told them that they were the furthest city to the east, “the twilight of the compass”. From this, the city gained its name “Vesper” in reference to an old word meaning “twilight”. In its early years,one of Vesper's main staples was walrus. The walrus gave food, pelts, and ivory to Vesper and the rest of Britannia. Walrus oil kept its lanterns burning through the cold, dark nights of winter. At this, the darkest time of the year, the people of Vesper and Britannia give thanks for the creature that sustained their ancestors. December 13th and 14th marks the celebration of The Walrus Festival.
MAKE THIS COLLECTOR PLATE YOURS THIS CHRISTMAS!
Just in time for the Holidays, Vesper Mint has released a limited edition collector plate that will delight guests and enemies alike. Crafted of fine porcelain and hand numbered in 24 karat gold, this treasure will kindle the spirit of Christmas whenever you gaze upon it. The plate, titled "A Tender Moment in Hythloth" depicts the Devourer of Souls deftly lifting a small frail child into the air so that he may place the Christmas star atop the tree. Every emotion comes through clearly as the lad strains to place the ornament as he mutters, "Lift me higher, you bonehead!" The demon's black heart, bursting with the Christmas spirit, swells three sizes with a sense of goodwill and compassion as he tenderly cradles his young charge in his powerful claws. You can almost hear his inner thoughts as he does this, "There young lad, you can do it. Bonehead?! Why, you little...!!! I don't think anyone is going to miss this kid." This limited edition plate will be closed forever just after 45 firing days, so act now to get yours this Christmas exclusively from the Vesper Mint.
We've all done it. There's a tempting chestnut roasting in the hot coals, and no way to safely reach it, but you try for it anyway. Ouch! Put the days of third degree burns behind you with the Catspaw (R). The Catspaw (R) is a cast iron claw with a reach of 3 foot, which even gets to the most inaccessible chestnut. So whether you like chestnut, acorns, cashews or almonds, the Catspaw (R) is there to help pull your nuts out of the fire. Great for gift giving or for personal use and available in most provisioner shops this Christmas.
ARTS AND LIVING
GRIM REAPER'S TALE
At this festive time of year, many holiday tales regale themselves as families sit around their trees and drink their favorite festive beverage. Thomas Morley had one for more of a ghoulish holiday tale that would not find the village children all nestled in their beds. He cautioned those who venture into the forest near the dungeon Shame to watch for the "reaper". No, not the reaper whose cloaked in dark curtains of gloom but the talking tree who promises great fortune only to deliver an eminent evil for anyone who partakes of it's resources. Thomas's eyes filled with tears as he told the tale of the little boy (his great-great-great grandfather).
It was a Christmas Eve so long ago, the young boy ventured out into the forest looking for the perfect Christmas tree to decorate and bring about the holiday. As he searched he heard a voice calling to him, 'little one, come here." the hushed whisper beckoned. As he approached cautiously, the large tree's limbs began to move about in a dance with the wind as it's willing accompaniment. The tree promised the boy that should he partake of its natural resource, it would bring peace and goodwill to all it touched. The young lad then reached for the juiciest apple, imagining the delicious apple dumplings his mother would create. As he spiraled the apple in his fingers, the reaper's bellowing roar tore through the air as a bolt of lightning burst from the tree, marking the apple with a bright hue of green to it's rotund frame for but a moment before turning red again. The boy ran home with the apple safely snug in his satchel but told no one about his encounter. When he returned that evening to the warmth of his family's kitchen, he positioned the apple at the very top of apple bowl to be used in the holiday festivities the next day. His mother, a very kind soul, would make pies for the whole village, a tradition they fulfilled every year. That holiday would not be one of good tidings and joy, for all the children that year were afflicted with a rare skin disorder that caused a red stain to appear on the left side of their face. No one knew the cause of the affliction but one. The young boy knew in his heart that the reaper had lied about its benevolent motivation. He armed himself with his largest axe and set out to chop this tree down, but when arriving at the spot he had chanced upon the large tree, he found but an empty patch that appeared more like a gravesite. As the years moved on, the young boy grew into a man whose demons caused him to move on from city to city, never long enough to make a home. The guilt he carried ate at him.... Nightmares were a foreboding partner especially when the holidays neared. One holiday season he met a young beautiful lady, Grace whose lovely voice graced the local saloon's venue. The sight of her face caught one's breath until you met her gaze and found the tortured look within her eyes. As he sat down in the tavern, fresh brew in hand, the soldier seated to his left, began a tale much like his own regarding this beautiful siren. At the mention of a "dancing tree with beguiling ways', the young man's interest was piqued. The young girl had encountered it as she played in the woods one Christmas Eve as she swung upon its branches and sung her favorite carol. The reaper made yet another unfulfilled promise of goodwill and cheer from anything made from its resources. The eager child ran to her father, a local wizard and begged him to make her a wooden lute from the tree's bark. He could not refuse. The next morning as the families filled the local church for a service of Christmas Cheer. The father strummed the lute and the little girl's voice hummed along. One by one each parishioner arose from their pew, a blank expression adorning their face. To the father and daughter's surprise, the crowd moved to the edge of a nearby cliff and jumped. As their song finished and scene unfolded, it was clear they were the only ones to survive. The father took the lute and watched as the flames danced about it, never to be strummed again. He returned to the sight of the "dancing tree" to find it still there. Its swaying branches attempted to wrap its arms around him, he ducked and skirted around to its rear, brandishing a large ax he chopped the tree down and uttering the words to a curse. To this day no one knows for sure if the tree was wiped from existence or carried on in another land to bring about its evil ways. For the wizard returned the next day to burn the stump, and quell his daughter's fear to find, an empty hole, devoid of any roots or remnant of the tree. It is told that the wizard's curse caused the "dancing tree" to atone for all its evil by ridding the world of its worse sinners. Hence, the executioner's prop… A lone stump for which the errant soul rests for their last sleep
We have it on good authority that Christmas is running as scheduled and there will be no interventions required to make it happen this year. Unbeknownst to many, 3 out of every 5 Christmases would never have happened without the endeavors of one or several unsung heroes who fixed everything at the 11th hour, even if they themselves were the ones who caused the whole mess in the first place. So this year there will be no good intentioned bumblers inadvertently throwing a tinker-wrench into the works by trying to speed up production at the North Pole, thus necessitating a last minute fix. There will be no need for a bunch of misfit outsiders with useless and outlandish skills that will suddenly manifest those same skill at some critical point essential to the delivery of presents worldwide. There will be no heroes this year embarking on quests to beg boons of higher powers or requesting extensions on delivering their wrath upon Christmas at the stroke of midnight. No heroes will be required to dissuade wealthy power magnates, having once been deprived of receiving some cherished childhood toy, from razing an orphanage. There will also be no meter or gauge overseen by the powers that be, instrumental in the commencement of celebrations, whether it be a thermometer that measures the collective good in the human heart, some silly apparatus that displays belief in Saint Nick, or any other frivolous metric. It is officially declared that this holiday season will be filled with only magical memories, merriment, and mistletoe...oh, and booze! Merry Christmas!
A CHRISTMAS VISIT
Twas the night before Christmas down at Humility
my guild had set out to test their combat ability
We started our journey from the moongate with care
in hopes of defeating Semidar in her lair.
We chatted excitedly of the loot there would be
with replicas, deco, and a nice SOT.
The spawn site was filled with mongbats and imps
but we soon wiped them out because they were wimps.
The gargoyles and harpies didn't last much longer
but with each passing wave, the next group was stronger.
With demons and succubi we started to falter
while more red candles appeared on the altar
With the last white candle, we would be tested
when Semidar herself finally manifested
We lost some members of our valorous band
but finally we regained the upper hand.
At the end of the battle, but who should appear,
but some ponce named Santa wearing elf gear
The Champ was down to her final last breath
and at the the last moment Santa cast Word of Death.
Then to the very shock of our party,
he dashed for the corpse and looted the artie
He grabbed all the deco, and the scrolls of transcendence
nabbed every last goodie before we could finish a sentence.
He spoke not a word, but returned to his work
and even stole most of the gold piles, the jerk!
He flipped us the bird as he recalled out of sight
"So, which spawn are you newbs hitting tomorrow night?"